As we age, our teeth age with us, and just like us, they need special care and treatment to keep them safe and sound, no matter what comes next. Here are some tips for senior citizens on properly caring for your teeth.
Whether you still have your natural teeth, or have partials or full dentures, there are tools available that are specifically for seniors. Larger brush handles are easier to grasp and handle effectively, and many have special interchangeable heads for different types of teeth and individualizing the care based on their needs.
You may also be interested in one with a timer that reminds you of how long to brush, in case your memory is sometimes foggy. It is especially important for seniors to change their toothbrush heads every 3 months, since dried out and worn bristles are more dangerous to your sensitive gums and teeth than they were when you were younger.
Your teeth are at greater risk of gum disease and injury as you age, due to the enamel wearing down over your lifetime, and also since your immune functions weaken over time. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the same care routine you have always followed, but also to add on to that and extend your treatment to keep them well. One thing you might want to consider adding is a midday brushing after lunch, to ensure that your mouth is able to fight off bacteria and regulate its cleanliness easier.
If you or a loved one are suffering from mental impairment such as dementia or memory loss, it may also be a good idea to set out labels and carefully plan out your oral hygiene routine. Little things, like putting a sticker on your toothbrush to remind you of which one to use, or leaving a note next to your chair, reminding you that it never hurts to drink some water, may keep you on track with your dental care.
Lastly, some medications may cause dry mouth, tooth stains, or even tooth decay. This is a regrettable but often unavoidable side effect of other treatments, but that doesn't mean you should give up on your smile. If you have any questions or concerns about your aging teeth, give us a call today and we'll gladly walk you through the process!
Wauwatosa Dental Group
Location Midwest Dental Wauwatosa 2600 North Mayfair Road Suite 750 Wauwatosa, WI 53226