Oral Care Tips for Seniors

Jasmine Williams, RDH, BSDH, MHA, a dental hygienist and oral health educator, shares tips on how seniors can help care for their teeth as they age.

1. Increase hydration. Some health conditions may manifest with age, which may cause us to take medications. Many medications can increase the risk for dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay. Avoiding alcohol and increasing daily water intake can help combat dry mouth.

2. Limit sugar consumption. Over time, it is common for gum tissue to recede, which may lead to the exposure of the roots of the teeth. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar can target the fragile surfaces of the roots and cause rampant decay. Monitoring sugar intake and rinsing with water immediately after consuming sugar may help protect the teeth.

3. Get your recommended calcium daily. The bone surrounding our teeth can be affected by our calcium intake. To help keep the teeth strong and to prevent bone loss around the teeth, older adults should try to get at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day from foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, or leafy greens.

4. Prioritize denture care and maintenance. Whether you have partial or full dentures, it is important to know how to take special care of them. For daily maintenance, soaking dentures in a denture cleanser helps to fight plaque build-up and kills any odor-causing bacteria. Also, routine dental checkups are important to ensure the proper fitting of dentures.

5. Use fluoridated oral care products. Fluoride is essential in maintaining the overall health of our teeth and gums. Incorporating a fluoridated toothpaste or mouth rinse into your daily oral hygiene routine helps to reduce the risk of sensitive teeth and cavities, especially for seniors.

The above content is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you have a medical condition.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on our site.

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