How to Care for Your Teeth As a Senior Citizen

Senior citizens have unique needs regarding oral health. To emphasize the important role of oral hygiene in relation to overall health try following some of these suggested tips.

Steps

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    Visit your dentist for regular dental hygiene checkups. This means at least once yearly.
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    Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush (unless otherwise specified by your dentist) and rinse with mouthwash. Brushing helps remove food and plaque on both natural teeth and dentures. It also helps prevent development of permanent stains.
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    Brush well. If you are having trouble reaching all areas of your mouth when brushing, look into obtaining a special toothbrush that is able to clean hard-to-reach areas. When brushing dentures, use a brush with soft bristles that is specifically designed for cleaning dentures.
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    Floss to remove plaque between teeth and below the gum line. These are the areas where where your toothbrush can’t reach.
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    Check dentures for fit. If you wear full or partial dentures, be sure they fit properly and that you are using the correct amount of denture cream. If you experience discomfort, or if you are using more than one tube of denture cream every three weeks, your dentures may not fit properly and should be evaluated. Visit your dentist to see if they need to be adjusted.
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    Alert your dentist about medical conditions. Tell your dentist about any medical conditions, recent operations, allergies, and medications you may be taking, or changes to your medications. This will avoid the potential for adverse interactions with the medications that your dentist may prescribe.
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    Know the warning signs that indicate your mouth may be at risk of infection. Check for red, swollen, bleeding gums when you brush. If you have these symptoms, see a dentist; these maybe signs of gingivitis.
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    Watch for red or white patches on your gums, cheeks or tongue, sores that fail to heal within two weeks, or an unusual hard spot on the side of your tongue. These are signs of oral cancer that should be quickly examined by your dentist.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Aged Care