Oral Health Tips for Older Patients

As you get older, it can be easy to let certain aspects of your oral hygiene routine slide. This can be particularly dangerous as you make yourself more susceptible to cavities, plaque build-up, and even bacteria that can spread and negatively affect your overall health.

Here’s a list of some simple steps you can take to ensure you’re keeping your mouth happy and healthy no matter what age you are.

Limit Sugar Intake

This is important across the board, but especially if you’re susceptible to tooth decay or other dental issues. Try to limit how much sugar you have, check the labels of foods you’re uncertain about before eating them, and when you do allow yourself to indulge - eat those sweet (or sticky) snacks with a meal to limit the likelihood of decay. In addition, do your best to cut down on adding sugar to things like coffee and tea.

Stick to Water as much as Possible

Yes, it sounds boring, but water is a vitally important part of maintaining good health. In addition to keeping your body hydrated, water helps flush away any food particles that might be lingering in between your teeth after eating.

If you find plain water with every meal dull, why not switch it up with sparkling water? Depending on the brand (and the ingredients) you can ever try different naturally flavoured options like lime, lemon, and orange.

Use a Soft Toothbrush and Be Thorough

Brushing and flossing at least twice a day is the most important thing you can do to maintain your oral health. If you find yourself experiencing any sense of discomfort while brushing, don’t let it dissuade you from keeping up with your hygiene. Make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush that will be gentle on your gums, and if the actual size of the brush is a problem, try a child size that more easily reaches the back of your mouth or a powered toothbrush with a large handle that’s easier to hold on to.

When brushing, make sure to get your teeth and gums as well as the folds between the teeth and the cheeks. If you wear dentures or partial dentures, don’t forget to take them out before brushing and clean them separately using the appropriate materials.

Be Aware of the Effects your Medication can Have on your Mouth

Ask your doctor and dentist if there are any specific side effects or concerns you should be aware of if you start taking a new medication. Some drugs can cause dry mouth, for instance, which can increase your chance of developing tooth decay because it limits the saliva production in your mouth.

Other meds might contain sugar which can linger in your mouth. See if there’s a sugar free option available, and if not, make sure to always rinse your mouth out with water after taking them.