Advancing age can put seniors at risk for numerous dental health concerns, but there are ways they can still maintain healthy teeth and gums. Caledon, ON, live-in home care professionals have a few tips to help your elderly loved one practice better oral hygiene.
Prevent Tooth Discoloration
Dentin, the bonelike tissue underneath a tooth’s enamel, sometimes causes teeth to become discolored. Over time, the outer enamel layer will thin in your loved one’s teeth, causing the darker, yellower dentin to become more visible. To prevent further discoloration, your loved one should avoid drinking coffee and eating foods that can stain his or her teeth. Medications and medical treatments sometimes cause staining and enamel damage as well. Your loved one should consult with the dentist to determine if alternative treatments are available to protect his or her enamel.
Protect Sensitive Teeth
As your loved one ages, his or her gums will begin to recede naturally, exposing parts of the teeth that are no longer protected by enamel. As a result, your loved one may experience pain when eating hot and cold foods. To combat this sensitivity, your loved one can brush with anti-sensitivity toothpaste whenever he or she experiences this pain. Your loved one should also consult with the dentist immediately if the pain continues.
Take Care of Dentures
Your loved one will need to care for his or her dentures properly to prevent health issues like sore spots in the mouth or changes to facial features. Encourage your loved one to brush his or her dentures on a daily basis to remove food and plaque and brush his or her gums and tongue with a soft bristle toothbrush. When your loved one is not wearing the dentures, he or she should keep them in warm or cool water or a dentist-recommended denture solution.
Treat Dry Mouth
Some seniors experience a reduced saliva flow due to treatment for diseases like cancer and Sjogren’s syndrome. Your loved one can use mouthwash designed for people with dry mouth, and he or she can also try using over-the-counter saliva substitutes. Brushing the teeth with fluoride toothpaste, using fluoride rinse, and sipping water regularly can also help your loved one reduce the risk of dry mouth.
If your loved one needs help with daily hygiene tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and live-in caregivers can assist with bathing, grooming, and a wide variety of other activities. For more information on senior care Caledon families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.