There’s a reason why our parents always made sure that we brushed our teeth before bed. Did you know that maintaining dental health can be good for more than the mouth? Seniors who have many things on their mind may forget to pay attention to their dental hygiene, which makes them more susceptible to certain dental-related health complications. Since October is Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, now is a good time to focus on oral health practices.
Why Dental Care is Important for Senior Adults
Older adults can experience serious medical problems if dental hygiene is neglected. The problems can range from tooth decay to more serious conditions like mouth cancer. Other issues besides age contribute to poor dental health hygiene, such as taking certain medications. During National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, the emphasis is on daily brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing. When senior citizens maintain a good oral health routine, they have a better chance of preventing medical issues like the following:
- Gum Disease - Leftover food particles and plaque buildup result in gum disease which is also known as gingivitis.
- Pneumonia - Bacteria that builds up in the mouth and inhaled can make its way into the lungs resulting in pneumonia.
- Heart Disease - There is a link between periodontal disease and coronary artery disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
- Diabetes - This condition refers to the body's inability to produce insulin. Periodontitis, or severe gum disease, can contribute to diabetes because it blocks insulin production. Fortunately, regular dental check-ups and good oral health practices help prevent gum disease.
Proper dental health is especially important for older adults who can't perform dental care on their own and must rely on a caregiver.
Tips for Improving Senior Dental Hygiene
An effective dental care routine includes a few simple steps. One, use a soft-bristle toothbrush and brush twice a day to prevent plaque buildup. Two, rinse with anti-bacterial mouthwash after brushing teeth. Three, floss once a day. Finally, visit a dentist for regular cleanings and oral exams.
Get the Best Senior Dental Care
Dental Hygiene Awareness Month is a good time to improve oral health habits for seniors. A daily routine of brushing, flossing and rinsing can help prevent a variety of medical conditions ranging from gum disease to heart disease. If a senior isn't able to perform these daily tasks, then having a caregiver is critical. Sometimes caring for a loved one isn't always possible, so it may be necessary to find an in-home care solution. To learn more about this service, contact us today for a free in-home consultation.