Dental Hygiene Tips for Keeping Teeth Healthy No Matter What age

Maintaining dental hygiene is quite challenging as you age. Teeth gradually wear down as the years go by.  Decay sets in, cavities can spread and all sorts of other oral health problems arise in due time.  The question is how to keep your mouth fresh as you age.  Let's take a look at some helpful dental hygiene tips for senior citizens.

Helpful dental hygiene tips

Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day

A considerable number of seniors have dry mouth.  Dry mouth often results from physical alterations in the body.  However, dry mouth can also be caused by medications as well.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports more than 400 popular medications can lead to dry mouth.

The condition known as dry mouth allows bacteria to accumulate and compromise dental hygiene. Do your part to keep your mouth moist by drinking water throughout the day.  Bring a bottle of water with you wherever you go.  If necessary, substitute the medication that causes dry mouth for one that does not produce dryness.

It might even help to chew a sugarless gum with xylitol.  Chewing gum spurs the formation of saliva within the mouth.  Saliva is essential to thwarting harmful bacteria and keeping the breath smelling fresh.

Brush Gently

The teeth and gums become more sensitive as you age.  This is precisely why you should pay closer attention to your oral health now than you did when younger.  Be careful when brushing as an excess of pressure can wear away at your tooth enamel and increase gum sensitivity.  Do not brush any longer than two minutes.  Consider switching to a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.  

It is Never too Late for a Senior Citizen to Start Flossing

If you have not flossed in the past, you should know it is never too late to start.  Flossing is essential o remove all those tiny bits of food, bacteria and other debris from the spaces between your teeth.  

Stop or Reduce Tobacco Use to Improve Dental Hygiene as You Age

Every form of tobacco is tied to a heightened risk for mouth cancer as well as throat cancer.  Furthermore, tobacco use makes your mouth smell terrible.  If you smoke, that smell will even linger on your clothes, making others hesitant to interact with you.  It is time to stop smoking and using tobacco of other varieties.  

If you cannot go cold turkey on tobacco, reduce your frequency of use.  Aside from leaving a disgusting odor in your mouth and on your clothes, chewing tobacco and smoking will sabotage your teeth to boot.  Chewing tobacco is particularly bad for the teeth as it typically contains sugar that wears away at tooth enamel.

Keep Your Dentures Clean

Bacteria and debris can build up on dentures just like regular teeth.  If your bacteria-laden dentures touch your gums, your chances of a disease will be that much higher.  A daily cleaning of your dentures will reduce the chances of gum disease, keep your mouth smelling fresh and prolong the lifespan of these artificial teeth.

Call (215) 892-1438 to schedule an appointment with MVP Family Dental in our Jenkintown dental office.

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