3 Tips for Good Oral Hygiene3 Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

Good oral care is always important, but as we start to age there are increased risks to dental health.  If you neglect your teeth, you are at a serious risk for gum and tooth disease as well as losing your natural teeth.  You need to make sure that you take extra precautions to keep your teeth, gums, and whole mouth healthy. Here are a few ways to step up your oral care routine.

Risks for Elderly Mouths

Tooth decay and gum disease are two of the biggest risks for older adults.  Many medications that are prescribed to seniors cause dry mouth.  Saliva helps to break down bacteria and neutralize acids, so having a dry mouth can lead to bacteria that will damage your teeth.  If left untreated for any period, you’re at a higher risk for tooth decay and loss.

Gum disease is the other major risk for older adults.  About 25% of adults 65 to 74 years old have untreated gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontal disease are serious gum diseases that can lead to severe gum inflammation and tooth loss.  Both of these oral health risks can be avoided with some extra care and attention to your teeth.

1. Maintain Dentist Appointments

Schedule regular appointments with your dentist.  This is the best way to prevent any tooth or gum disease. Regular cleanings and checkups are needed to remove plaque from your teeth that can contribute to periodontal disease. During these checkups, your dentist can check for any issues and make sure that your mouth is in good condition.  If you can’t make it to the dentist on your own, find a family member or friend who can help you get to your appointment.

2. Take Care of Hydration

If you take medication that causes you to suffer from dry mouth, you need to take extra measures to ensure that your mouth stays hydrated.  You can purchase artificial saliva products that will help you produce extra saliva.  You can also chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to help stimulate the production of your saliva.  Make sure that you choose a sugarless variety so that you don’t put yourself at a higher risk for cavities and tooth decay.  It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are drinking enough water.

3. Keep a Good at-Home Routine

It is vital that you keep up your daily oral care routine.  Make sure that you brush your teeth after every meal for at least two minutes.  Choose a tube of toothpaste that contains fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.  Also, make sure that you floss along with brushing your teeth.  Food can get stuck in between teeth or in the gums where teeth are missing, which can lead to bacteria damaging your teeth.  You should also consider using mouthwash to fully clean your whole mouth.

Getting older doesn’t mean that your mouth and teeth have to suffer.  While you’re at a higher risk for certain oral diseases, you can prevent and avoid these by maintaining healthy habits.  Keep your regular dentist appointments and be vigilant with your oral care.  These habits will keep your teeth free of disease.

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  1. Luke Smith March 22, 2016 Reply

    I think that these tips about having good oral hygiene are good for everyone both old, and young. I like how it points out to visit a dentist regularly and to have a good dental routine. I need to do that so I can get into the habit of brushing, and flossing at least at night.

  2. Jackie Oliver June 2, 2016 Reply

    Wow, I’ve never really thought about how staying hydrated could have such an influence on teeth, but it makes sense. I’m not always the best at keeping my mouth hydrated, but from here on out, I’ll be sure to keeping a piece of gum in my mouth, to keep my saliva production up.

  3. Jackie Oliver July 14, 2016 Reply

    I had never really thought about how staying hydrated could make such a difference in your teeth! I know that it helps you body in lots of other ways, but I had just never thought about this part of it. It’s also really good to know that certain medications can cause dry mouth, and problems later on. I should look into this a little bit, just in case any of the medications I take cause that.

  4. Marcus Miller July 26, 2016 Reply

    I’ve really been wanting to improve my dental health. I especially loved that point wherein you have discussed staying hydrated; I never thought about doing that! Now that you have mentioned it I will take care of it. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  5. Brooke McAvoy August 31, 2016 Reply

    I’ve never known that water has an effect on you mouth and gums. It just goes to show how essential it is to get the hydration that we need and how often we don’t quite cover it. I’ll be sure to get the water that I need from now on, and I’ll be applying many of your oral hygiene tips, thank you!

  6. Rachel September 28, 2016 Reply

    This past year, I’ve made the change to a better diet as well as better hydration. The effect it has had on my teeth has been great. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  7. Dr. Douglas Barker October 10, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the tips, Bacteria can live in your mouth in the form of plaque, causing cavities and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. In order to keep your mouth clean, you must practice good oral hygiene every day.

  8. Radhika Wadhwa October 27, 2016 Reply

    The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums. Good Tips Dr.

  9. Danni Black November 22, 2016 Reply

    I really like your second tip “take care of hydration.” That is something that is really important when it comes to the health of your gums. I have been having a lot of bleeding and swelling in my mouth so I am thinking that I might have gum disease. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind while I am getting the treatment that I need.

  10. Shad Morris November 29, 2016 Reply

    I never knew that having a dry mouth can actually affect your teeth! My wife usually has a dry mouth, and is trying to take care of it. We might have to go to a dentist and make sure that everything is alright.

  11. Danni Black January 6, 2017 Reply

    I really like your tip about making sure that you are hydrated and preventing your mouth from getting too dry. My husband and I just moved to a new town so we are looking for a new dentist to go to. Our oral hygiene is really important to us so we will be sure to keep these tips in mind, thank you for sharing!

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