Oral care is important at any age, but as we get older dental hygiene becomes even more critical. Seventeen percent of seniors age 65 and over have periodontal disease (infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone) according to the National Institute of Dental and Intracranial Research.
Check out these dental tips for seniors to prevent losing your natural teeth, gum disease, and root decay.
1. Practice proper dental care
Let’s start with the obvious. You need to brush and floss your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
According to Colgate, many dentists agree that proper brushing takes at least two minutes.
Dr. Anna Guarna, a dentist for over 20 years in Connecticut, goes one step further and typically has her patients brush for three minutes — one and a half minutes on both the upper teeth and the bottom teeth.
Two minutes might seem like an eternity while brushing; so is it possible to brush too long? According to Dr. Guarna, it’s not an issue of brushing for too long, it’s an issue of applying too much pressure when brushing.
Using too much pressure can cause abrasion of the enamel and of the gum tissue, which can lead to tooth sensitivity. Guarna recommends trying to use your non-dominant hand to brush—you may be amazed to realize just how much pressure you are applying.
2. Evaluate your toothbrush
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Have you been using the same brand and style of toothbrush since the Nixon administration? Are you using the proper bristle stiffness? What’s better, electric toothbrushes or manual?
In addition to applying too much pressure when you brush, your bristles may be too stiff. Ask your dental health professional what type of toothbrush you should use during your years of senior living.
The American Dental Association recommends you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are irregular of frayed. “If you leave behind bacteria on the teeth after brushing, it can lead to serious problems such as gingivitis or periodontists,” according to Colgate.
The American Dental Association recommends you floss your teeth daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, standard dental floss is the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between your teeth.
Deepa is a writer and a passionate blogger. She has years of experience in writing articles, blogs and press releases after a deep research. At http://healthcaretipstoday.com she writes interesting topics on all health, beauty, fitness and healthy life. She loves exploring, researching and providing the best information to readers. In her free times, she loves to read books.
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