Oral Health Tips For Seniors

Oral_HealthWhile advances in medical care and changes in cultural expectations have made it easier as an adult over the age of 60 to experience excellent quality of life, when it comes to oral health, there are a number of dental “self-help” tasks in which senior adults can engage to ensure their teeth and gums remain healthy.

Here are three areas in which senior adults can take charge of their oral health, leading to better outcomes and more time to enjoy those things in life that matter the most to them.

Oral health for seniors: 3 helpful tips

  1. Keep yourself hydrated to keep dry mouth at bay. Older adults suffer xerostomia, or dry mouth, at a higher rate than the rest of the population, perhaps because they may be taking one of the 400 types of medications known to cause the condition. If you have dry mouth, drink plenty of fluids, keep your mouth moist at all times, and talk to your health team about products that enhance salivary flow.
  2. Keep your smile bright by avoiding teeth-staining foods and beverages. The luster of your teeth can dim with age, as a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic stains can build up on your teeth, and as the enamel protecting your teeth can grow thinner. You can reduce your exposure to stains from coffee, tea and soda by drinking through a straw – that will direct the liquid to the back of your mouth and away from surfaces of your teeth.
  3. Consider getting a dental implant if you lose a tooth. It’s important to resist the stereotype of tooth loss just being a “normal” part of growing older. Dental implants provide a stable, long-term oral health solution to tooth loss, by preventing bone loss in the jaw, providing a normal-looking appearance, and assisting the patient in being able to chew, speak and eat normally. Whether you’re dealing with the loss of one tooth or an entire arch of teeth, talk to your cosmetic dentist about implants as a way to preserve and improve your oral health.

“Growing older should be a time of excitement, not a time of dread or trepidation related to oral health issues,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “It’s possible to partner with your dental team and maximize your oral health so that it contributes to a long and enjoyable life overall.”

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