Maintaining good dental hygiene and health is an important aspect of senior care. Bad dental health can result in tooth decay and tooth loss and can also cause more serious health problems.
As we grow older, decades of normal wear and tear and age can begin to show on our teeth. Many seniors lose teeth or can develop significant dental problems. Untreated dental problems can increase risk of infection and a variety of health problems, and can also impact seniors’ self-esteem and their diet.
Seniors sometimes neglect to take care of their dental health. Some may have self-care challenges that prevent them from taking as good care of their teeth as they should. Others may feel that the deterioration of teeth is a natural progression of age. Nevertheless, dental care remains an important health issue. Elder care providers for seniors who benefit from in-home care or assisted living can help promote dental health by:
- Insisting that seniors brush at least twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Have seniors floss once per day.
- Have regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings.
- Avoid food that has a high likelihood of contributing to tooth decay.
- Seek senior specific advice from dental professionals.
- Take supplements and vitamins intended to promote better dental health.
Children or loved ones of seniors living in assisted living or other residential elder care facilities should be proactive concerning their seniors. Inquiries concerning dental care regimens and the health of their seniors should help them be stronger advocates for their loved ones.