There are several oral health problems that tend to be more likely to occur in those at an advanced age. Some of these problems include dry mouth, darkened teeth, a diminished sense of taste, gum disease, stomatitis from ill-fitting dentures, gum disease, root decay, an uneven jaw bone or tooth loss.
In order to promote excellent oral hygiene for the elderly, it is essential that they follow certain rules for care. The following is a list of the best ways to take care of the elderly’s oral health.
1. Create a daily oral hygiene regimen.
Every elderly person should have an oral hygiene regimen that fits their personal needs. First, brushing and flossing will be essential to the care of real teeth. This should be done once in the morning and once at night. For extra care, the individual may be advised to brush after every meal as well. As we age, our teeth naturally decay, so the elderly should also consider using products that all have fluoride in them. This will keep teeth strong and healthy. A mouthwash with extra fluoride may help.
In addition to this routine, it is crucial that individuals speak with their oral specialists to learn about various particular steps that must be taken for individual dental problems. For example, dentures, bridges and tooth implants must be cared for in specific ways.
2. Quit smoking and all tobacco products.
Tobacco products are terrible for oral health. They can cause tooth decay, tooth staining and many other, more serious problems. For example, the regular use of smoking and various other tobacco products is directly linked to mouth, tongue and throat cancer. If there was one more reason needed for anyone to quit smoking, oral health is it.
3. Have the required oral care products.
The elderly may require additional oral hygiene and dental products that other adults don’t nee. This is especially true if they wear dentures or have dental implants. Family members can help provide these products, but if your elderly loved one lives in a nursing home, it’s important to keep in mind that providing these products is the responsibility of the nursing home staff. In order to take proper care of their teeth, every elderly person should have suitable toothpaste, a clean toothbrush and whatever other specialized products they require.
4. Visit the dentist for check-ups at least twice a year.
Because the teeth of the elderly tend to have more problems than younger adults, it is advised that the elderly visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups at least twice a year. A dental hygienist will be able to clean the teeth, and the dentist can check for tooth decay, cavities and other potential oral health problems. Again, any elderly individuals who live in nursing homes must be taken to the dentist by the staff at their nursing home. Otherwise, an oral hygienist and dentist must be arranged to visit the nursing home to conduct regular checkups.
Doing all of these things will be essential to taking care of any elderly person’s oral health. It is crucial that regular personal care is administered as well as regular clinical care from a dental specialist. If your elderly loved one lives in a nursing home, make sure that they are receiving proper dental health care there. If they are not, it is important to note that this would be considered nursing home abuse, and nursing home abuse & neglect attorneys should be called in to assess the situation and give compensation to the abused party.
As with all aspects of health, always make sure that the elderly person in your life is taking care of their dental health with these tips.