Dental care for seniors
Seniors with dentures, which includes complete denture and partial dentures.
Patients with dentures should clean their dentures every day. Plaque and tartar can accumulate around the false teeth and gum areas of dentures. In order to clean the dentures, you can brush them like you brush your teeth every night before bed. Brush and rinse your denture and it is ready to use the next morning.
Make sure you take your dentures out at night time and you don’t sleep with your dentures inside your mouth. Your tissues need to breathe and rest from being covered all day and from the pressure on them all the time. When you remove the dentures, wash your mouth, brush your existing teeth and if you don’t have any teeth brush your tissues with a soft toothbrush and if it is uncomfortable use your finger to clean your gums and massage them.
You can soak your dentures once a week in tartar cleaning liquids that you can purchase from any pharmacy.
If you have a partial denture, be sure that you brush your teeth that are anchorage for the denture since those teeth are at a higher risk for cavities and gum problems. This will be minimized if you have perfect Oral hygiene. Hence perfect oral hygiene is essential to protect and save existing teeth in people who are using partial dentures.
Be sure that you get your mouth checked with your dentist regularly. It is highly recommended to get your mouth checked every 6 months. This check up is to make sure all the tissues are in normal limits and for patients with partial denture to make sure not only your tissues but also your remaining teeth are in good health.
Patients with partial denture are recommended to use some mouthwashes to help their gums and teeth to prevent them from cavities especially if they are at high risk for having cavities.
Seniors with Bridges
Bridge is a fixed partial denture that replaces missing teeth. It is essential to keep the bridge clean. Your dentist will give you advice and show you how to clean under your bridge using a special floss. It is very important to clean your teeth that are holding the bridge to prevent cavities around them. The floss that can be used to clean under your bridge can be purchased in any pharmacy section of stores. This floss is called super floss or you can purchase a floss threader and use regular floss to clean your bridge with that.
Sometimes people believe that when their teeth are covered with the crown or bridge it won’t have any cavities. That is not true. Teeth can have cavities where the bridge is ended to the tooth. Hence, proper brushing and flossing can help having the bridge for a longer time.
It is highly recommended that patients who have bridges and crowns to check with their dentist regularly to make sure about the health of their tissues and teeth. Having professional cleaning done with a dentist can be highly beneficial for patients with bridges to prevent any gum problem and address any small issues in the first place.
Patients with implants need to clean around their implants very gently and thoroughly. Implants need to be cleaned like normal teeth. Implants are not as flexible as your teeth are so be very careful how much force you are putting on your implant tooth. In case you put too much pressure, your implant might fracture and you will lose your implant. Always be aware of what you bite on your implant tooth. It is also important to get your implants checked with your dentist regularly so if there is a small issue to be addressed on time.
General information for seniors
As we get older and our bodies slow down. This includes all parts of the body, for instance you will have a dryer eyes, dryer mouth. Dry mouth means more problems in the mouth. It is important that you know saliva has lots of benefits for us, saliva washes the bacteria from our mouth. When we have dry mouths our teeth and tissues will be coated with plaque, therefore we can have more gum problems and cavities.
In order to address this issue you can have a bottle of water with you and keep sipping on it to keep your mouth moist. Also you can use sugar free gums to chew, in order to create saliva.
Sour foods can stimulate saliva creation as well.
Please know that when we get older we will feel less thirsty but we have to make a habit of having water all the time.
Using fluoride mouthwash, toothpastes with fluoride, keeping your mouth moist, getting your teeth checked regularly and having good oral hygiene will be highly beneficial for healthier oral health.
I highly recommend that seniors get their teeth and mouth checked regularly and ideally every 6 months with their dentist.
Having good oral hygiene will highly reduce oral complications in older ages.
Keeping your mouth moist is highly beneficial for your oral health.
Using products with fluoride can help reduce cavity rates. Using floss can help minimize gum issues.