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oral health

Oral Health for Older Adults: Quick Tips

Caring for your oral health is essential, not just in your younger years, but throughout life. As you age, oral health becomes more important as the risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases. With a few simple tips, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums into your golden years.

Good oral hygiene is an important part of overall health in all stages of life, but it’s especially important for older adults. Age-related dental issues increase with time and can lead to increased oral pain, eating difficulties, and an overall diminished quality of life if left untreated. The good news? Maintaining oral health for older adults is easy, with a few helpful tips.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is the key to oral health and includes brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.

Brushing

Brush your teeth at least twice daily with an ADA-approved toothpaste and soft-bristled brush. Make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the back, chewing surfaces, and tongue. Don’t forget to clean around braces or other dental appliances too!

Flossing

Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth that can lead to gum disease. Use gentle, sawing motions to floss between all teeth in the mouth, moving up and down the side of each tooth. Be sure to replace your dental floss every few months.

Regular Check-Ups

Schedule a dental check-up every six months, and make sure to mention any oral health issues you’re experiencing. These regular visits allow oral health professionals to detect cavities and other oral problems early on before they become more severe.

Preventive Care Tip

In addition to regular oral hygiene practices, there are some extra preventive steps that older adults can take to ensure healthy oral health:

Mouthguard

If you grind your teeth during sleep, talk to your dentist about getting a mouthguard. Grinding can damage the enamel of your teeth and lead to oral health problems.

Dietary Changes

Cut down on sugary foods and drinks as they can contribute to tooth decay. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods that are good for oral health.

Quit Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of oral cancer and other oral health issues such as gum disease and bad breath. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting for better oral health.

Conclusion

Oral health is important for older adults, and maintaining good oral hygiene can help keep oral problems at bay. With simple tips such as brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups, you can ensure healthy teeth and gums into your golden years. Additionally, preventive care measures such as mouthguards, dietary changes, and quitting smoking are important too.

1. How often should I brush my teeth?

It’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste and soft-bristled brush.

2. What type of foods should I eat to maintain oral health?

Cut down on sugary foods and drinks as they can contribute to tooth decay. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods that are good for oral health.

3. How often should I see a dentist?

It’s recommended that you visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. Make sure to mention any oral health issues at your regular dental visits.

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