Dental Hygiene Tips for Older Adult Patients

As you get older, your health needs evolve, and that includes your dental health. There are several things you can do to preserve a healthy and beautiful smile, which also protects your overall health, as you enter your golden years.

1. Encourage saliva production

Saliva is key to oral health. It cleans and moistens your mouth, which prevents bacteria from building up in between brushing and flossing. A mouth that isn’t well moistened is more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Older people are more susceptible to dry mouth from various sources, including illness and certain medications. You can counteract dry mouth by drinking at least the daily recommended amount of water and incorporating a mouth rinse into your dental care regimen.

2. Protect the health of your gums

Your gums are just as crucial as your teeth, and enemy number one is gum disease.

Even though gum disease is very preventable, over half of adults have it. Left untreated, it can cause tooth loss, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health complications.

You can avoid becoming one of these statistics by committing to a daily flossing regimen. If you have difficulty with traditional floss, consider using a Waterpik, which uses a stream of water to dislodge food residue from between the teeth.

3. Fill in gaps in your mouth

Tooth loss is another issue that becomes more likely as you age, whether it be from extraction or injury. If you do lose one or more teeth, it’s important to address the space in your mouth as soon as possible. A hole in your mouth leaves you vulnerable to serious oral health issues. Once the area heals from the initial loss, you should discuss your options with your dentist. Our dental team in Boston can help recommend a dental implant to restore your smile and protect you from further health complications.

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