Good Oral Health Care Practices for the Elderly
Observing good oral hygiene is one of the best ways to ensure you have a properly functioning body. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine helps you stop the progression of dental issues before they become complex. However, older people have a hard time taking care of their oral health because of cognitive impairment and functional dependence. Here are some oral health care tips for the elderly.
Brush Teeth Using a Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride toothpaste strengthens and remineralizes the tooth enamel protecting it from cavity-causing bacteria. Toothpaste with a higher fluoride percentage, up to 5000ppm, should be used on more fragile teeth to help shield against tooth cavities.
Brush Twice a Day
Failure to brush leads to the accumulation of plaque and food substances around the teen and gums. Bacteria in this plaque will produce acids that will damage the gums and gums of the older person. If it is not removed by brushing, plaque will accumulate and form calculus on the teeth and gum.
Minimize Sugar Consumption
Reduce sugar consumption by replacing sugar-rich foods and drinks with tooth-friendly foods. For example, urge the older person to drink milk as it waters down the tooth decay-causing acids that can be found in sugars.
Drink Enough Water
When people consume food, residue and even large chunks can be left behind. This is why drinking water with a meal and between meals is important. Drinking water washes down any sticky drinks and food. Therefore, it is prudent for you to make a habit of drinking water each time you eat sugary snacks and drinks.
Use the Right Toothbrush
When brushing, use a soft toothbrush to remove plaque from the older person’s teeth gently. They also need to have their tongue and gums brushed too, as food residue can reside here. Cleaning the tongue removes bacteria that can cause aspiration pneumonia, as well as bad breath. It can also enhance the taste for better food enjoyment.
Maintain a Moist Mouth
A dry mouth encourages the quick development of oral diseases. It is also unpleasant and uncomfortable. Therefore, an older person should keep their mouth moist using medications or saliva substitutes as advised by a doctor. They should also avoid using products that encourage dry mouths, such as swabs and mouthwashes with lemon, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide.
Visit a Dentist Regularly
No matter how religious you are with your oral health care routine, it is advisable to visit a dentist two times a year. A dentist will inspect your teeth for cavities, fix calculus, and spot oral health concerns that require medical attention. Afterward, the dentist will advise you on the best methods to improve your dental health.