As we age, keeping our teeth healthy can become a problem. The dexterity goes down in our hands, we can’t hold the toothbrush as firmly, and our oral health often declines simply from the many ailments that come along with aging. If you are aging and struggling with your oral health, or if you care for someone in this situation, there are things that can be done to help. Here are a few tips that can help keep a senior’s oral health in top form, no matter how old they get.
Keep Up with Daily Oral Hygiene Routines
Just because you may not be able to hold the toothbrush as well, doesn’t mean to stop brushing. 80% of brushing your teeth is still far better than 0% brushing. Until you get the chance to go out and get a new toothbrush, or order one meant for arthritic hands, keep brushing. Make sure you also floss at least once per day and rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash. This routine can go a long way towards keeping your mouth healthy as you get older.
Appropriate Toothbrushes Are Available in Many Places
If you regularly go out to the store, then you can look for a toothbrush with a larger handle while you are out. They are readily available at drug and grocery stores, plus many big box retail stores have toothbrushes with larger handles available, too. If you rarely get out, you can also shop online. Going online can give you a wider variety than you will likely find in stores, plus it can also likely give you a discount over the big-name stores.
Another type of appropriate toothbrush would be an electric toothbrush. Many seniors prefer using their traditional toothbrush because it is what they have used their entire life. Unfortunately, these toothbrushes may not be the most acceptable option when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy as you get older. They move far faster than any hands have the ability to do, plus they get into hard to reach locations more easily than a traditional toothbrush ever could.
There Are Medications to Help with Dry Mouth
One of the biggest problems seniors face when it comes to declining oral health is dry mouth. This leads to an increase in cavities, and can also increase the chances of developing or furthering gum disease. Thankfully, there are a few different medications that you can get from either your physician or your dentist that can battle against dry mouth. If a specific medication is causing your dry mouth, you can also talk with your doctor or your dentist about seeing if there is an alternative medication that you can use instead. Many medications are needed to help with aging issues as we get older, and have dry mouth as a side effect. In most cases, other medications can be substituted that don’t have that side effect.
If you want more information on what you can do to keep teeth healthy as you get older, it is important that you speak with your dentist the next time you go in for any type of an exam or cleaning. The more you talk to them now about the issues you may face down the line, the better prepared you will be able to be when that time comes. Getting older does not mean losing all your teeth or struggling with dental pain for the rest of your life. Finding out what things you can do to protect your teeth gives you something proactive to do as you keep up with your oral hygiene.