Ageing brings in a lot of physical and physiological changes. Advancing age puts many seniors at risk for a number of oral health problems. Some of these include:
- Losing teeth
- Darkened teeth
- Impairment in sense of taste
- Gum diseases
- Dry mouth due to side effects of medications
- Increased sensitivity
- Difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene
Age itself cannot be a dominant or sole factor in determining oral health. However, certain medical conditions, such as arthritis in the hands and fingers, may make brushing or flossing teeth, a difficult task to perform. However, it is possible to keep teeth healthy and prevent gum disease at any age through right oral hygiene tips and professional help.
How to maintain Oral Hygiene:
- Daily brushing and flossing of natural teeth
- Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Visit your dentist on a regular schedule for cleaning and an oral exam
- Antibacterial mouth rinse can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease
- Cut down on food and drinks containing sugar – especially sweets that last longer in the mouth such as boiled sweets or mints
- Use dentures, bridges or implants to enjoy healthy diet
Dentures require special care in order to keep them clean, in good shape and fit and free from damage. Dentures need to be cleaned every day. They should be brushed with a soft bristled brush designed for dentures to remove debris and food plaque. It is best to rinse off dentures after eating.
Points to remember:
- Don’t drop the dentures
- Don’t use regular toothpaste. These are too abrasive and may damage dentures. Mild dishwashing liquid can be used if commercial dental cleansers are not available
- Never use hot water for dentures since they could warp
- Always store dentures in a denture container with water to keep moist
Gums, tongue and palate need to be brushed to keep them clean and free from potential irritants every morning before dentures are worn.