As we grow older, our teeth and gums sometimes require specialized care. This is normal and is something every older adult should expect. While children are often encouraged to brush their teeth vigorously, older adults need to treat their gum tissue with more gentleness. Here are some oral care tips to follow to get the cleanest teeth without increasing your risk of gum recession or discomfort.
Limit Sugary Treats
Sugary treats can cause significant decay in the teeth of older adults. To avoid pain and discomfort from tooth decay, monitor sugar intake and limit the number of sugary treats or drinks you consume, including fruit juices. If you decide to indulge, remember to rinse your mouth out immediately afterward. This may help protect your teeth and roots from the effects of sugar in your diet.
Use Oral Care Products With Fluoride
Fluoride helps maintain the overall health of both your teeth and gum tissue. Using oral care products with fluoride (such as toothpaste and oral rinse) reduces your risk of developing cavities and sensitive teeth.
Drink Enough Water
Increasing your daily water intake can help you avoid dry mouth, which is a condition sometimes experienced by older adults. A dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay, so it’s essential to combat it as much as possible. In addition to plain water, you can also stay hydrated by drinking milk or water flavored with berries or cucumbers. Try to avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, as these can dry your mouth out even more.
Get Enough Calcium Every Day
Calcium can help you keep your teeth and other bones strong. Older adults should try to consume a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium per day to help prevent bone loss around their teeth. You can get calcium from leafy greens, yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Instead of using a hard-bristled toothbrush, choose one with soft bristles and brush your teeth and gums gently. It’s much better to spend more time brushing gently than it is to spend less time brushing harshly. Your gum tissue deserves a light and steady hand.
Make Oral Care a Top Priority
Whether you wear dentures or still have some or all of your natural teeth, make oral care a top priority in your mature years. This may include taking the proper steps to maintain and soak your dentures and scheduling routine dental checkups at least once every six months. Dental checkups are essential for maintaining both natural teeth and dentures. Regular dental cleanings can help keep your natural teeth in healthy condition. In contrast, routine denture checkups can help ensure your dentures always fit correctly or get adjusted as needed.
With a little extra time and attention, you can maintain your oral health and avoid tooth decay. Elder Care Alliance has many more tips for living life to the fullest as an older adult. Feel free to take a look at our communities and care services if you or a family member would like to move to a senior community with access to wonderful amenities and area attractions.