Maintaining your dental health is crucial regardless of your age, but looking after your dental health in older age is increasingly important. As you age, your dental health needs often change, which is why it is important to have information about various oral health conditions so you can prevent and treat them. In this article, we will discuss common dental health issues that older people may encounter and provide practical strategies for managing and preventing these issues. By addressing the concerns directly relevant to you, we aim to empower you to take charge of your oral health and maintain a vibrant and healthy smile.
Common Issues with Dental Health in Older Age.
There are certain dental health issues that are more prevalent as you age. Understand which problem you are facing will make it easier for you to maintain dental health in older age. We have provided more information on some of these health conditions:
1. Periodontal Disease.
Gum disease, known as periodontal disease, can affect older people due to factors such as age-related changes in oral tissues and medical conditions. It is essential to manage and prevent periodontal disease to safeguard gum health and preserve teeth.
2. Dental Decay and Tooth Loss.
As you age you may be more prone to dental decay, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Losing teeth can impact speech, appearance, and the ability to chew properly. We will explore strategies to prevent dental decay to allow you maintain good oral health.
3. Denture Care and Comfort.
If you wear dentures, ensuring proper care and maintenance is crucial for your comfort and oral health. Ill-fitting dentures can cause discomfort, affect eating habits, and even lead to sores or infections. That’s why it’s necessary to pay attention to your daily oral condition even after a dental treatment.
5 Tips to Maintain Positive Dental Health in Older Age.
To maintain optimal dental health in older age and prevent common issues, here are some strategies to consider trialling:
1. Adopt Good Oral Hygiene Practices.
It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Pay extra attention to cleaning dentures (if you have these), tongue, and gums. Don’t forget to floss daily to remove plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
2. Visit the Dentist Regularly.
Schedule regular dental check-ups, ideally every six months, to monitor your oral health, address any concerns promptly, and receive professional cleanings. Regular dental visits are essential for detecting and managing oral health issues early on. And it’s very helpful to maintain a good dental health in older age.
3. Practice Denture Care.
If you wear dentures, clean them daily using a denture brush and denture cleaner. Soak dentures overnight to keep them moist and avoid warping. Ensure your dentures fit well and seek professional adjustments if discomfort or looseness arises.
4. Maintain a Nutritious Diet.
Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to provide essential nutrients for oral health. Limit sugary and acidic foods and drinks, as they can contribute to dental decay. Staying hydrated is also crucial for maintaining good oral health. Limiting your tobacco and alcohol consumption will significantly contribute to your dental health in older age too.
5. Communicate with Your Dentist.
Discuss any concerns or challenges you may have with your dentist. They can provide personalised advice on oral hygiene techniques, denture care, and suitable treatment options for your specific needs. Always reach out to them for support if you have any questions or concerns.
Prioritising your dental health is important regardless of your age and helps contribute towards a healthy life. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene practices, denture care, a nutritious diet, and open communication with your dentist are key steps in achieving and maintaining excellent dental health in older age. At Let’s Get Care, we are dedicated to supporting older people to continue living safely and happily in their own homes. We are passionate about providing you with education and resources to help you do that.
If you have concerns regarding dental health in older age or want to learn more about Home Care Packages you can reach out to your Care Manager or call us on 1300 497 442. We are only a phone call away. At Let’s Get Care, we understand the specific needs of each client and are committed to providing comprehensive support to help you continue living in your own home.
If you would like to know more about our services, please visit: https://letsgetcare.com.au/services/.
K.C Leung & C. Chu (2022) Dental Care for Older Adults, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2023 Jan; 20(1): 214. doi: 10.3390/ijerph20010214