Practicing proper oral hygiene is important to maintaining a healthy smile at every age, but this is especially true for seniors. The teeth age, just like the rest of our bodies, making them more vulnerable to damage over time. As a result, seniors are more prone to oral health issues, like tooth decay and dental fractures. Fortunately, restorative dentistry treatments can address the unique needs of senior patients to improve both dental appearance and function. Lake Jackson, TX dentists Brian Bell and Justin Crocker offer a variety of treatments to improve oral health and restore senior patient's smiles. To learn more about your treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Drs. Bell and Crocker. In the meantime, read this overview to learn more about how you can keep your smile healthy with these dental care tips for seniors.
Senior Dental Care Tips
Although it's best to start practicing proper dental care at a young age, it's never too late to start. Seniors can help prevent dental damage and other oral health issues by practicing good oral hygiene, which includes:
- Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day: You can reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay by brushing at least twice a day for a full two minutes each time you brush. When brushing, use small strokes and pay special attention to the gum line and back teeth. Holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle can help the bristles reach within the gum line.
- Floss every day: Flossing is one of the best ways to prevent gum disease. It helps reduce the risk of developing cavities or decay between the teeth and along the gum line. Floss at least once a day, being sure to floss along each side of each tooth and as far into the gum line as possible.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash after brushing and flossing to further reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings: It's important to see your dentist at least once every six months for a dental check-up and cleaning. Regular check-ups are key to catching dental issues early and cleanings help remove plaque and tartar from hard to clean trouble spots.
- Practice good oral hygiene even if you wear dentures: Denture wearers may think they can skip practicing good oral hygiene since they no longer have teeth, but this is actually not true. Neglecting oral hygiene can leave denture wearers with oral yeast infection and gum issues. Seniors who wear dentures should brush their tongue and gums with toothpaste and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash as well as clean their dentures with denture cleaner or mild dish soap daily.
Treatments for Seniors
There are many dental treatments available to address the needs of senior patients. Whether treatment is needed to correct an oral health issue or simply to rejuvenate the smile, senior patients may benefit from such treatments as:
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Professional teeth whitening
- Porcelain veneers
- Dental bonding
- Dental crowns
- Gum disease treatment
- Dental implants for tooth replacement