Written By Wendy Dessler / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Advancing age weakens our entire bodies, including oral health. As a result, many seniors face a greater risk of dental issues than their younger counterparts.
From darkened teeth to dry mouth, root decay, and a diminished sense of taste, these issues can range from slight inconveniences to significantly affecting seniors' life quality.
Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can make to curb these troubles and make your teeth stronger and more durable. Let's examine five essential practices to include in your daily routine.
Proper Dental Hygiene For Seniors
To start with the obvious, brushing and flossing is a must at any age, especially as you grow older.
The recommendations state that you should brush your teeth two times a day. Dentists generally agree that it takes at least two minutes to brush properly. Some experts even claim that up to three minutes is the ideal length.
However, if your jaw or teeth start hurting after a minute or so, the duration isn't the problem - it's the pressure you're applying. You could try using your non-dominant hand to curb this effect.
Apart from brushing, daily flossing is another must. It's the best way to clean off food from the tight spaces between your teeth. Ideally, you'll use the standard dental floss, but water picks and pulsing irrigators are also good options.
If you have dentures, cleaning them every day is necessary, too. Otherwise, plaque and tartar could build up and lead to gum disease.
Luckily, the cleaning process is quite straightforward. In short, you should remove the dentures and clean them with a soft brush. Another method includes a damp cloth, which you use to wipe all around your fake teeth.
Moreover, when you remove them for the night, make sure you're leaving them to soak in an adequate cleaner - your dentist will recommend the best solution. That way, you're ensuring that tartar and plaque loosen, making it easier to remove.
Many people forget that they should replace their toothbrushes regularly, using the same style and model for years.
However, as you age, your requirements change, and stiff bristles could weaken your enamel. Your dental health professional can suggest the best model depending on the state of your teeth, so make sure you consult with them during your next visit.
Regarding your toothbrush shelf life, replace it once every four months maximum, and earlier if the bristles get frayed.
Dental Health Insurance For Seniors
Seniors frequently can't afford regular dental care, as they often live on a fixed, limited income. There are two main ways to go about this issue.
If you're on Medicare, some aspects of the plan, like part B, can be of massive assistance. While it doesn't fully cover the expenses of dentist visits, it'll pay for medically necessary procedures, not leaving you stranded with gum disease or oral checkups before surgeries, for example.
Alternatively, you could research dental society-sponsored support programs. Dentists often offer services with reduced fees through such schemes. The details differ from community to community, so you should check whether such help exists in your area.
General Health Maintenance For Seniors
Finally, maintaining your overall well-being can also do wonders for your teeth. The central element of a healthy lifestyle that affects your oral wellness is your diet. Without proper nutrition, your oral hygiene can decay and cause issues.
Moreover, your bones must stay strong, and what you eat can help. Certain food groups help the teeth, while others harm them. Do your research and stick to healthy snacks and lean protein. Avoid sugar and acidic fruits as you get older, and you'll face fewer problems.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of your teeth matters throughout life, but it becomes even more important as you enter your golden years. Remember - you can't become too old for a dentist visit, and neglecting your oral health will only speed up the decay and lead to troubles.
The better shape you keep your teeth and gums in, the more comfortable will your senior years be. Don't neglect this part of your overall wellness, and you'll thank yourself down the line.
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Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.