Seniors: Caring for Your Teeth

Seniors--Caring for Your Teeth

On Monday, we opened our series on oral health care for seniors by giving you a few statistics in regards to oral health care, as well as common oral health related issues.

As we mentioned, old age and dentures is a combination that’s often considered an inevitable fact of senior life. However, with proper care of your teeth, you or your aging loved one can keep that smile for many years to come.

To show you what we mean, here are a few tips to consider when caring for your teeth. Take a look below:

The basics

Below, we’ve outlined some basics to get you started on proper care for your teeth (adapted from WebMD):

  • Brush at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Practice tongue cleaning to cut down on bad breath using either a soft toothbrush or a tongue cleaner (now found on many toothbrushes)
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Ask your dentist if they recommend using mouthwash

Dental care for arthritic or immobile seniors

As we age, it can be difficult to do everyday tasks such as brushing and flossing. For those who are immobile or with arthritic hands, ask your dentist to help come up with a solution. There are many products available in most drug stores to help fit your needs.

Things to be aware of 

Below, we’ve outlined several things to be aware of that may affect overall dental health:

  • Tobacco use. Not only can it stain your teeth, but tobacco use, such as smoking or chewing, can lead to oral (lips, tongue, throat, and mouth) cancer as well as periodontal, or gum, disease.
  • Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease may affect your overall oral health. Be sure to let your dentist know if you have any of the conditions listed above.
  • Dry mouth. Often caused by medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) or certain medical conditions, dry mouth may cause damage to your teeth. Saliva is important to washing away bacteria that builds up, as well as acids from foods. Consult your dentist for proper ways to combat this.
  • Poor diet. Poor dieting may also lead to poor oral health and damage to your teeth. Avoid over-consumption of sugary foods such as candy, soda and other products high in sugar. Instead, opt for firm/crunchy fruit and vegetables, and be sure to balance highly acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes with non-acidic foods in order to prevent further damage to your teeth.

On Friday, we will continue our discussion with proper ways to care for your dentures. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about the information we’ve outlined above, please feel free to give us a call!

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living “currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa “provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Call us at 402-331-2273.

“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit”

photo credit: Canadian Pacific via photopin cc