Top tips to help older adults improve their oral health

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Today’s seniors can expect to keep most, if not all, of their natural teeth as they age thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in oral and medical care. But keeping those teeth healthy can be a challenge.

Restricted mobility, cognitive impairments and medications that cause dry mouth can all contribute to oral problems and complicate treatment. Even more worrisome is the fact that bacteria from the mouth can travel through the body, resulting in serious infections and inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and stroke.

Dental hygienists encourage older adults to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and clean in between their teeth at least once a day. They also advise anyone with dentures (full or partial) and their caregivers to clean dentures daily, and brush and massage the gums either with a soft toothbrush or a warm damp cloth. Remember to remove dentures overnight to maintain healthy mouth tissue.

In addition to good daily mouth and denture care, all older adults should schedule regular appointments for professional oral care. With the new Canadian Dental Care Plan and dental hygienists with mobile practices, it’s getting easier for many to do so. Many dental hygienists provide professional oral health care where you live, whether you’re in your own home or in a long-term care residence.

Find more information at dentalhygienecanada.ca/seniors

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