Tips to Improve Dental Hygiene for Seniors

Man and woman brushing teeth
April 10th, 2023

If your aging parent or loved one seems to be slacking off on their dental hygiene, it’s actually quite common. Their teeth may be sensitive or painful to brush, or they may just forget.

Even if they have dentures, it is vital that they take care of them. If their teeth or dentures are not properly cared for, they can develop more problems as they age.

Practical Tips for Enhancing Dental Hygiene in Seniors

Brush and Floss Daily

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and using floss at least once is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If the person doesn’t have teeth, use a soft brush or cloth on the gums to remove any food or built-up plaque.

For those with dentures, clean the dentures well at least once a day. Clean the teeth and the bottom of the denture plate. Take great care of your dentures and follow the instructions that your dentist gave you.

Visit the Dentist

A regular visit to your dentist or denturist can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free. Always visit if you have a problem, some pain, or issues with your dentures.

The longer you wait, the worse the treatment will be. For those seniors who still have their teeth, taking care of them will make sure you have them for the rest of your life.

Proper Diet

Eating junk food, excessive amounts of sugar or foods that are acidic can not only damage your teeth, but your health. Your body needs the proper nutrients to maintain your bones and teeth.

Your jaw needs to be strong and healthy to keep your teeth in place. Poor nutrition can rob you of your health and your teeth. If you do eat snacks, keep them healthy and brush and floss after eating them.

Read more: Lifestyle Changes to Help You Age Well

Increase Your Fluoride

Look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to keep your teeth strong and protects the enamel. You can also use a mouth rinse that contains fluoride to help strengthen your teeth.

Increase Your Calcium

Calcium is a great mineral for keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy. You can take supplements to increase your calcium intake and also include calcium-rich foods.

Dairy food has calcium but not all seniors are able to consume it due to cholesterol. Leafy greens like kale and okra are high in calcium, as well as some nut milks.

Drink Enough Water

Drinking enough water is good for every aspect of your health. Certain medications that people take can cause dry mouth and can have side effects on your teeth.

Drinking plenty of water can keep you hydrated and it also helps to keep your mouth rinsed and removes any food particles that may be clinging on. This is particularly helpful if your water has fluoride in it.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy plays an enormous role in keeping the rest of your body healthy. Even the smallest particle of food can become infected and cause an abscess, which can lead to bigger health issues.

If left unattended, this can cause any number of health issues, including heart disease. If you have a senior in your life you think may not be performing the best dental or hygienic care, consider a medical alert system.

An infected tooth can lead to serious problems rather quickly. A medical alert system is there to allow them instant access to help if something were to happen.

While it’s no replacement for propeller dental care, it is an added safety net that you and your loved ones can depend on.

Read more: Healthy Aging: Personal Hygiene Basics for Older Adults and Family Caregivers