Learn how to care for your oral health as you age.
Our teeth are strong, built to last a lifetime if we take good care of them. It is a very common misconception that children’s teeth are only a transitional phase, so no real care for them is needed. Similarly, another misconception involves seniors. Some people think that the teeth can only last all through adulthood, and as you enter your golden years, it is normal that you lose them and get fitted for dentures. That is absolutely NOT TRUE. This idea was built through ad campaigns and billboards depicting senior citizens with no teeth and with dentures, making people think that is the norm, but that’s far from the truth. With proper care, our teeth can last until the last day of our lives.
That being said, senior dental care is a lot different than care during your young age. The environment of the mouth changes, and therefore oral hygiene procedures in aged care can be somewhat different compared to the younger age.
Oral hygiene for elderly patients differs not in the method (brushing and flossing are basically the same for every age) but rather the frequency and the tools used in these procedures. A soft tooth brush is highly recommended since the gums are weakened, and traditional string floss becomes very difficult to use, so other options are preferred such as interdental brushes or water flossers.
Frequency is also another aspect. While you could get away with brushing once daily and using floss gingerly in your younger years, this simply won’t do with seniors. All the problems we mentioned just mean that elderly oral hygiene needs to be maintained far better compared to younger ages.
If you suffer from a small amount of saliva decrease, then frequent sips of water may be enough to compensate for that. However, if the condition evolves, then you should consult a dentist for seniors and talk about saliva replacement therapy
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Geriatric dentistry (or senior dentistry) is widespread across the country. A simple online search could be all you need to find a great dentist for seniors. Low cost dentures for seniors could be found almost anywhere you look. All you need to do is do your homework, and look for a great dentist with great recommendations and reviews, and is also close to your residence to reduce the burden of travel on the elderly.
Keeps the other teeth healthy
Continue eating what you like
Best long-term care
Keeps your mouth in harmony
Understanding your condition is the
key to making the right choices for you
With increased age, the chances for decay, gum disease, periodontitis and tooth loss are greatly increased. For that reason, it is incredibly important to take even greater care of your teeth in old age compared to the younger age.
Dry mouth, higher chances of decay and gum disease, gum recession, bone loss, mobility and teeth loss are all common with old age.
It is not really a matter of age, but whether your mouth is prepared to receive the implants. If the oral hygiene is good, and the bone condition allows, then implants are a great choice for any age.
The cleaning action of saliva is decreased due to decreased flow. In addition, proper brushing and flossing are compromised due to limitation of motion. Finally, nutrition that reaches the gums is decreased due to lowered blood flow. All that leads to a higher chance of gum disease and periodontitis in elderly patients.
It differs from one person to another, but in most cases, you would need a cleaning session at least once every 6 months to 1 year. So do not go an entire year without visiting your dentist, even if you have no specific problem or pain.
Yes, it is perfectly safe if proper precautions are taken. Chances of infection are greater with age, so some prior precautions may be needed such as antibiotics and mouthwash to improve oral hygiene before extraction can happen.