Consistent oral care grows more important as seniors age. Because teeth become more susceptible to plaque over the years, seniors are more vulnerable to tooth decay. However, with a few simple lifestyle changes, your loved one can lower his or her risk of cavities and oral health problems. Read on for four tips from Las Vegas home care experts that will help promote healthy senior teeth.
1. Brush and Floss Daily
While you may already know that seniors should brush and floss every day, for the best results, seniors should use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and should brush and floss after most meals, or at least twice a day. Depending on your loved one’s oral needs, he or she may also require additional fluoride to keep his or her teeth in top shape. If your loved one experiences physical challenges, like the tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease, that make regular oral care difficult, hiring a Parkinson’s caregiver in Las Vegas can provide your loved one with the assistance he or she needs to maintain good oral hygiene.
2. Keep Hydrated
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is an important way to prevent tooth decay, but since having some sweets is inevitable for most seniors, drinking lots of water can help counteract the effects of sugar. As many seniors experience dry mouth from medications or mild dehydration, drinking water while eating and rinsing the mouth after eating sweet foods can help your loved one get rid of lingering food particles. To prevent dry mouth, have a family member or caregiver remind your loved one to drink at least eight glasses, or 64 ounces, of water a day.
3. Regular Checkups
Semi-annual dental exams are vital to good oral hygiene. Regular dental cleanings are particularly important for elderly loved ones who have fillings or other dental devices, as plaque can hide in the small crevices around loose fillings and worn prosthetic teeth. Most dentists recommend two cleanings a year, however encouraging your loved one to visit the dentist anytime there is evidence of decay can help him or her avoid more severe oral health challenges.
4. Treat Heartburn
Heartburn may not seem like an obvious cause of tooth decay, but the excessive acid in the stomach can damage the enamel that protects the teeth. If your elderly loved one suffers from frequent heartburn or other stomach conditions that expose the teeth to stomach acid, contact a doctor to learn how to treat the condition.
While oral care can seem like an easy and routine task, for seniors with cognitive conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s, maintaining a personal grooming schedule can be challenging. At Home Care Assistance, our professional dementia and Alzheimer’s caregivers in Las Vegas are expertly trained to remind and assist seniors with personal grooming, in addition to providing around-the-clock safety monitoring, medication reminders, and more. Learn more about how our senior home care services can help promote your elderly loved one’s health and wellness by contacting a Care Manager at 702-550-3185 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.