Growing older comes with a lot of changes. Believe it or not, even the way a person cares for their mouth can change with age. That’s because age is a risk factor for several kinds of oral complications. However, that doesn’t mean that mouth problems are inevitable. It simply means that senior mouths need a little extra care and attention. Since October is National Dental Hygiene Month, now is a good time to brush up on oral care for older adults.
Why is Oral Health Important?
What’s going on in a person’s mouth can have a huge impact on their overall health. Some of the ways that poor oral health affects the body are:
- Increases Stroke Risk: Bacteria in the mouth can make the development of blood clots more likely, which can lead to stroke.
- Raises Risk of Heart Disease: Chronic gum disease makes a person nearly twice as likely to have heart disease.
- Diabetes Complications: Gum disease makes it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. Unfortunately, because diabetics sometimes have a harder time fighting off infections, they are also at a greater risk for gum disease.
- Inadequate Nutrition: Tooth loss makes chewing difficult. As a result, a person is more likely to opt for softer foods, which can mean missing out on important nutrients.
Tips for Better Oral Health
The best way to prevent oral problems for seniors is still the same as it was when they were children: brushing and flossing. However, because plaque can build up even more quickly on the teeth of seniors, it’s important to be even more diligent about good oral hygiene. To keep mouths healthy, older adults should follow an oral hygiene routine that includes:
- Brushing Twice Daily: Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss: Floss once per day.
- Snack Wisely: Avoid foods that are high in sugar, including sugary drinks. It’s a good idea to brush, or at least rinse, after eating sugary foods.
- See a Dentist Regularly: Seniors need regular dental care just like everyone else. This is true even if they have dentures.
If your aging family member has difficulty managing their own oral health due to physical limitations or cognitive impairments, a senior care provider can help. A senior care provider can assist with brushing and flossing. Senior care providers can also prepare healthy snacks, instead of sugary ones. In addition, if the older adult no longer drives, a senior care provider can drive them to dental appointments.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Professional Senior Care in North Palm Beach, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at 561-829-3080 Today.