Oral Health for Seniors: How Caretakers Can Spread Smiles
December 18, 2020
Your aging mother is struggling to do things on her own and needs a lot more help these days. You don’t like that she is alone much of the time. Although you are not able to be with her all day every day, you want to find a way for her to receive the excellent care she needs and deserves. You start researching assisted living facilities in the area that could be a good fit for her. Well, in your research, remember to prioritize her oral health concerns. Be sure to find assisted living that will help her see a dentist for seniors in Lincoln. In this post, you will learn why this is important and how you can make sure your aging loved one is well looked after.
How Poor Oral Health Affects Seniors
Although dental health concerns impact all populations, the elderly often show the effects of poor oral health more easily than others. While nearly half of the American adult population over the age of 30 has advanced periodontal disease (also called gum disease), that percentage jumps up to 70 percent for adults over the age of 65. It is also estimated that 27 percent of adults older than 65 have no natural teeth at all.
In addition to affecting their smiles, poor oral health can harm seniors’ overall health. Over the years, many studies have found that gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss globally, significantly increases the risk of heart disease and a cardiovascular event like a stroke or heart attack. Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, and diabetes are other diseases which have been linked to gum disease in scientific research and which more commonly plague the older generation.
How Caretakers Can Help
Seniors, whether under the care of an assisted living facility or a loved one, may be dependent on others for simple needs, including brushing their hair. For these seniors, caretakers play an essential and regular role in keeping up senior oral health in Lincoln both in the short and long term. Below is information about what compassionate workers and family members can do for those under their care.
Make Sure Two Checkups Occur Every Year
Regardless of age, every patient needs to continue visiting the dentist every six months. These appointments enable the dentist to catch problems as early as possible or even stop them before serious damage can begin. These frequent visits are also opportunities to address any issues, such as ill-fitting dentures, so that seniors can continue to bite and chew effectively (i.e., have a nutritious diet).
Many seniors in assisted living require transportation to and from the dental office, but in some cases, local family members may be able to help with these outings.
Maintain Healthy Habits Every Day
Here are the tasks that need to occur on a daily basis to keep seniors’ smiles as healthy and strong as possible:
- Brushing and flossing remaining natural teeth.
- Cleaning gums and tongue with a scraper or toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Soaking dentures in cleaning solution overnight.
- Limiting sugar consumption.
If you have an aging parent, you want to do your best to help them enjoy a high quality of life. By making sure they are receiving the essential dental care they need in their assisted living home, you can see their happy smile for many years to come.
About Pioneer Greens Dentistry
Pioneer Greens Dentistry is happy to welcome patients of any age. In addition to providing necessary preventive care, we also offer dentures and other prosthetics as well as dental implants. Our compassionate team of three dentists looks forward to helping your aging loved one feel confident in their strong, healthy smile. To schedule an appointment, you can contact Pioneer Greens Dentistry by calling 402-483-7502 or through the website.
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