As a person ages, their ability to take care of all their personal hygiene needs, such as dental care, often deteriorate. However, with the help of adult children and elderly care providers, all seniors can experience great oral health well into their Golden Years.
The fact is, discussing dental health needs can be a bit difficult, especially for seniors who are used to being independent and taking care of all their needs themselves. However, dental disease, tooth loss and the reduction in general mobility make it more and more difficult for them to properly care for their teeth. Achieving the Perfect Smile is no easy task, which is why seniors need to get all of the help they can.
While the senior may put up a bit of resistance, in the beginning, they will typically give in when they realize their elderly care provider or adult child is simply trying to prevent serious dental concerns. Some tips to help care providers ensure a senior’s proper oral health are found here.
1. Be aware of existing oral issues
Tooth or mouth pain can cause other symptoms in seniors. Also, a number of medications that seniors commonly take can cause the mouth to be dry, which adds to the discomfort they experience. However, when the senior’s mouth remains healthy, they will be able to eat without pain, enjoy the taste of food and ensure they can speak properly.
It is important for a care provider to take note of any changes in the senior’s teeth or mouth in general as they help them care for their mouth. Lesions, swellings, and bumps can all indicate an issue, especially if they don’t go away within two weeks. Be sure to ask the senior if their teeth feel more sensitive than usual frequently, as well, as this can also be the indication of a more serious issue.
2. Assisting with oral care
While the level of support that is needed will vary from senior to senior, it is important to ensure the experience is a comfortable as possible. Some tips to help with this process include:
- Brushing: Utilize a soft bristled brush and small round motions to clean each of the teeth. Also, brush the tongue gently. An electric toothbrush can be used to make this process easier and more efficient.
- Floss: Each tooth should be flossed, including dental bridges and implants.
- Rinse: Antibacterial mouthwash should be used to finish off the process.
Caring for dentures properly is just as important as natural teeth and elderly care providers and adult children should not forget this.
3. Care for after meals and during the day
It is important the senior take regular sips of water during the day, which is a great way to keep the mouth feeling moist and fresh. After a meal, all the food should be removed and the senior should rinse to remove any leftover food. Gum can also be used, if necessary. Consulting with your dentist is a great way to find out the things that need to be avoided during the care of your teeth. The time you spend consulting with these professionals will be well worth it in the long run.
In addition to home care, regular appointments with their dentist are also important. This can help ensure no serious conditions are present. Taking the time to provide help with oral care will help ensure that the senior does not develop serious issues down the road.