Dental Hygiene Tips for Older Adults

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Advancing age can put seniors at risk for numerous dental health concerns, but there are ways they can still maintain healthy teeth and gums. Here are a few tips to help your elderly loved one practice better oral hygiene.

Prevent Tooth Discoloration 

Dentin, the bonelike tissue underneath a tooth’s enamel, sometimes causes teeth to become discolored. Over time, the outer layer of enamel on teeth becomes thinner, causing the darker, yellower dentin to become more visible. To prevent further discoloration, your loved one should avoid drinking coffee and eating foods that can stain his or her teeth. Medications and medical treatments sometimes cause staining and enamel damage as well. Your loved one should consult with a dentist to determine if alternative treatments are available to protect enamel. 

Protect Sensitive Teeth 

As your loved one ages, his or her gums will begin to recede naturally, exposing parts of the teeth that are no longer protected by enamel. As a result, your loved one may experience pain when eating hot and cold foods. To combat this sensitivity, your loved one can brush with anti-sensitivity toothpaste whenever he or she experiences this pain. Your loved one should also consult with the dentist immediately if the pain continues. 

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may have difficulty remembering to complete their oral hygiene routines. Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who don’t have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. Vancouver Home Care Assistance provides Alzheimer’s care seniors and their families can depend on. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives.

Take Care of Dentures

Your loved one will need to care for his or her dentures properly to prevent health issues such as sore spots in the mouth. Encourage your loved one to brush his or her dentures on a daily basis to remove food and plaque. In addition, your parent should brush his or her gums and tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush. When your loved one isn’t wearing the dentures, he or she should keep them in warm or cool water or a dentist-recommended denture solution. 

Practicing good oral hygiene is an important daily task some seniors can’t always accomplish on their own. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Vancouver Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Treat Dry Mouth

Some seniors experience reduced saliva flow for a variety of reasons, including treatments for diseases such as cancer and Sjogren’s syndrome. Your loved one can use mouthwash designed for people with dry mouth, and he or she can also try using over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Brushing his or her teeth with fluoride toothpaste, using fluoride rinse, and sipping water regularly can also reduce your loved one’s risk of dry mouth.

Some seniors may not be able to take proper care of their teeth and gums due to chronic health conditions. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elderly home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance at (778) 279-3634 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.

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