Vancouver Dental Clinic
Arbutus North Dental Centre
Oral Health Tips for Seniors
At Arbutus North Dental Centre, we’re here to help seniors achieve and maintain excellent health.
Below are some great oral health tips for seniors:
Keep your dentures clean and fresh.
The rule of thumb when it comes to taking care of your dentures is simply to treat them as if they were your real teeth. So that means you need to carefully brush them daily. This not only keeps them white and in great shape, but it helps prevent any plaque and bacteria build up, which can lead to serious oral health issues down the road, such as gum disease.
Your dentures or any other dental appliances are designed to be comfortable and secure-fitting, regardless of whether they’re permanent or removable. If you notice any discomfort – even if it’s not associated with any pain – contact us so that we can take a closer look and ensure that your dentures/dental appliances are functioning properly and doing their job.
Focus on improving your diet.
What you eat plays a significant role in your oral health (as much as it does your overall health and wellness). Try to add green and raw vegetables in your diet, avoid fatty milk products, and say goodbye to refined sugars as they can cause tooth decay. If you have a craving for sweet foods, look into a healthy snack or try some fruit instead!
Provide your medical records
to your dentist.
Many seniors take one or several prescribed medications, and it’s vital that you contact us to let us know what you’re taking. This information helps us that any dental treatment we provide is aligned with your overall medications, and there will be no unwanted side effects or consequences.
Don’t forget your tongue and cheeks.
While cleaning all of the surfaces of your teeth is vital for good oral health, don’t forget your tongues and the insides of your cheeks! These areas can collect substantial bacteria, and you’ll want to gently scrub them away with your toothbrush, or with a tongue cleaner. Just remember to be gentle and don’t scrub harshly. And of course, remember to rinse thoroughly after every brushing.
Floss, floss and floss!
For busy adults, one of the things that tends to fall by the wayside when it comes to oral health is flossing. Indeed, while it can seem like an optional thing, be assured that it’s just as important as brushing. Floss regularly with about 18” of floss. Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of either hand, wrap a little bit around the middle finger of the other hand, and with the taut floss “in between” both fingers (about 1” should be fine) floss between two teeth. Then unroll a fresh, clean inch of floss, and go to the next two teeth, and so on. Flossing is one of those things where technique makes a BIG difference, so feel free to contact us and we’ll help you floss like an expert!
Consider an antimicrobial or
There are a variety of antimicrobial and antiseptic rinses available without a prescription, and provided that you carefully follow the directions (use a small amount, and don’t swallow any of it), it can help keep your mouth clean and fresh. However, please don’t think that rinsing is a substitute for brushing and flossing; it’s not. Rather, it can compliment your program of good oral health. If you’d like to learn more about what to look for in an antimicrobial or antiseptic rinse, contact us and we’ll be glad to help!
Watch out for signs of poor oral health.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any oral pain, it’s essential that you watch out for signs of poor oral health, which can include:
o Tender, swollen or bloody (red) gums
o Blood due to flossing or brushing
o Any teeth that are loose
o Sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or foods
o Alignment concerns with your top and bottom teeth
Also remember, that it’s possible to experience some or all of these symptoms even if you’re brushing and flossing regularly. The issue may be in your technique, or there could be an underlying health concern that should be looked into. If you have any of these symptoms or simply want to know more about good oral health and hygiene, contact us – we’re here to help!
Contact us with any questions or concerns regarding your oral health – – we’re always glad to help our valued senior patients enjoy a bright, healthy, happy smile!