Aging can bring serious dental issues for individuals in the baby boomer and senior generations. Medical experts and dental professionals have been encouraging people in these age brackets to take especially good care of their teeth so they can avoid issues such as dry mouth, tooth loss, denture problems, and gum disease. By the time adults have entered into the senior years, it is not uncommon to see that they have left their teeth and gums neglected in decades past. Here are some important and helpful tips on dental care for seniors and baby boomers.
Tip #1: Regular checkups
Routine dental appointments are incredibly important, especially for older adults that tend to have more medical issues going on that can affect their overall health. Routine dental cleanings and exams will help locate cavities and other problem spots. Older adults are often more susceptible to cavities, as many of their medications can have side effects of dry mouth. Once the mouth is deprived of saliva, it can leave the teeth more vulnerable to cavities. Aging can also cause a loss of dexterity and in some cases memory loss, which means that brushing and flossing may get more difficult. Thus, oral hygiene may be neglected or even ignored.
Tip #2: Create a routine
After decades of brushing and flossing teeth, seniors often already have a routine set in place, but for some, aging may affect how they take care of themselves, so helping establish regular care routines is an important way to keep appropriate measures in place to prevent gum disease, tooth loss, or cavity development. Set aside a few times of the day to brush teeth, and set alarm clocks if needed.
Tip #3: Properly clean dentures
After tooth loss, dentures can help replace missing teeth and provide eating assistance. However, dentures need to be removed at night before going to sleep and after eating so they can be properly cleaned. If seniors wear them while they sleep, it can cause tissue damage and if they are not properly cleaned with denture-specific cleaners, they could cause more damage from bacteria growth.
Tip #4: Work with a dentist on comprehensive plan
Working with a dentist to create a comprehensive treatment plan that includes preventative, restorative, and maintenance services at each appointment is incredibly important. Find a doctor that is experienced in working with older adults.
Dental issues or gum disease can be traumatic and incredibly painful, so it’s vital to maintain quality oral healthcare from the get go. Improving an older adult’s smile can bring happiness and restore confidence!