Caregiver’s Guide To Good Dental Health for the Elderly
Many US adults 65 years and over have oral health problems. One in five of them has lost all their teeth. Almost all have had at least one cavity. While almost 70% have gum disease.
But these don’t have to be outcomes for most elderly people. Proper oral hygiene can lead to healthy teeth and gums.
Are you caring for aging parents or an elderly person? This article is a caregiver’s guide to dental health for the elderly.
How do you give an elderly patient oral care? Read on for some dental care tips for caregivers.
Dental Health and the Elderly
Most parents start dental care as young as three months old. Despite this, many people develop habits that can affect their dental health. Aging also increases the risk of oral health problems.
However, aging does not have to determine your oral health. But immobility or weakness can make it difficult for the elderly to care for themselves.
A Caregiver’s Guide to Dental Health for the Elderly
A caregiver may need to play an essential role in ensuring an elderly patient or relative maintains good oral hygiene. This can mean monitoring their dental routines or performing their dental care. If you’re a caregiver, you’ll need to do the following:
Brush and Floss Teeth Regularly
This should occur twice a day using a soft or medium brush and fluoride toothpaste. Some dentists may recommend an electric toothbrush. This gives a more thorough cleaning.
You’ll need to brush both their teeth and gums gently. Don’t ignore the tongue and spaces due to missing teeth. You can complete this routine with gentle flossing.
Schedule Dental Visits
Dental visits should be a part of everyone’s oral healthcare routine. This should occur at least once every six months.
This ensures the patient receives a professional cleaning. It also allows the dentist to look for any other issues.
Keep Dentures Clean
Over half of Americans between ages 65 and 74 wear some type of dentures. This becomes an added layer of dental care. They need similar care to natural teeth.
They, too, can have a build-up of plaque, food, and other substances. You’ll need to brush and clean them at least once a day.
Monitor Dental Care and Anything That May Affect It
Caring for the elderly involves monitoring their health. The same applies to dental health. Look for any issues and if you’re unsure, visit the dentist.
Monitor the number of sugary drinks and snacks they consume. If the elderly person has a dry mouth, you’ll need to use an alcohol-free mouthwash. You should also have them sip water regularly.
Maintaining Beautiful Teeth with Good Dental Health
There are many dental issues associated with aging. These include darkening teeth, tooth loss, and gum disease. But these don’t have to be everyone’s fate.
Proper oral hygiene can help. How do you give an elderly patient oral care? As outlined in this article, a caregiver’s guide to dental health for the elderly can help.
A dental practice like Suburban Essex Dental can also help. We provide a range of services, including preventative dentistry. Schedule an appointment for your loved one today!