5 Ways Seniors Can Practice Better Oral Hygiene

By Matt Rogers, 9:00 am on

Good dental health is important throughout life, especially in the senior years. Your senior loved one should visit the dentist on a regular basis to discover and treat dental issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. The dentist can also offer some tips to help your senior loved one stave off a number of oral health conditions.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. In Pembroke Pines, families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. In the meantime, here are some of the ways your loved one can practice good oral hygiene. 

1. Brush After Meals 

Medication side effects and the natural effects of aging can result in less saliva production. This means that after eating meals, food particles in the mouth could provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Brushing 30 to 60 minutes after each meal can minimize the amount of bacteria in the mouth and prevent dental issues.

2. Follow a Healthy Diet

Your loved one’s diet could affect his or her oral hygiene. By maintaining a healthy diet full of vegetables and fresh fruits, your loved one can keep his or her teeth and gums in great shape. Fluoridated water also contributes to good oral hygiene because it flushes toxins out of the mouth, and it can also keep your loved one hydrated.

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional home caregiver. Pembroke Pines families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

3. Use an Electronic Toothbrush

Seniors may have difficulty brushing their teeth thoroughly due to a variety of issues, including hand tremors, arthritis, and weak muscles, which can lead to poor oral hygiene. However, using an electronic toothbrush could make it easier for your elderly loved one to brush his or her teeth. An electronic toothbrush requires less hand strength and control when brushing. Many electronic toothbrushes are made with built-in timers that prevent the need to guess how long the teeth need to be brushed. 

4. Watch Out for Dry Mouth 

As a family caregiver, you should be aware of dry mouth and what steps can be taken to prevent it. If your senior loved one has dry mouth, his or her teeth could begin to decay at an accelerated rate, which could cause the dentures to fit incorrectly. Dry mouth can also irritate the skin underneath dentures. Your elderly loved one can relieve dry mouth by adding a moisturizing mouthwash to his or her daily brushing regimen. There are also sprays and gums available that encourage saliva production and reduce the risk of dry mouth. 

5. Rinse with Salt Water 

Rinsing with salt water increases the pH balance in the mouth. Instead of using plain water, use salt water to rinse your loved one’s mouth. All you need to do is add a half of a teaspoon of salt to the water to boost your senior loved one’s dental health and make it more difficult for bacteria to grow. A salt water rinse is also less irritating to a senior’s mouth, as opposed to many store-bought oral hygiene products, including mouthwash.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Pembroke live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. If your loved one needs help making healthy lifestyle choices, call Home Care Assistance today at (954) 374-8273.

 

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