Practicing proper oral hygiene is important at any age, but it’s especially imperative for Los Angeles County senior citizens. The simple truth is that poor oral health is linked to many dangerous conditions for seniors, including heart disease, pneumonia, and diabetes. Seniors who practice poor, elderly dental care can also suffer from other uncomfortable conditions including gum disease, dry mouth, root decay, uneven jawbone and denture-induced stomatitis.
To fight off these potentially dangerous and definitely uncomfortable oral health conditions of elderly dental care, Los Angeles County dentist Dr. Banner (who has extensive experience working with the local senior citizen community including those living in nursing homes or those who are homebound with a 24/hour caregiver) recommends the following tips to keep a healthy mouth as you age.
- Practice good, daily oral hygiene. Elderly dental care tips include brushing your teeth twice daily (you may want to consider using an electric toothbrushing if brushing is difficult or painful on the hand or finger joints), clean in between your teeth once a day with floss, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day.
- If you use full or partial dentures, make sure to take great care of them. This includes cleaning them on a daily basis and removing them for a minimum of four hours every day, which Los Angeles County dentists like Dr. Banner recommend doing at night.
- Skip the bottled water, and drink tap water Tap water includes fluoride, which is great for you at any age, but is especially important when considering elderly dental care.
- Quit smoking. Dr. Banner knows this can be a lecture to some Los Angeles County senior citizens, especially those who have had the habit for decades. But not only is smoking dangerous for your cardiovascular health and increase your risk for COPD and cancer, but it also increases the likelihood you’ll experience problems with gum health, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
- Maintain regular bi-annual cleanings from a qualified dentist experienced in elderly dental care. We know this can be a difficult task to check off if your beloved senior citizen is living in a nursing home, is homebound, has a memory impairment, or another medical issue that makes travel away from the home This is exactly why Dr. Banner formed In Motion Dentists – so he can bring his dental practice to you and treat your loved one in the comfort of his or her own home or another favorite setting.
Contact Us with Any Questions
The best way for Los Angeles County seniors to have a healthy mouth is to practice proper oral hygiene their whole life. But even if that hasn’t always been the case, or if oral hygiene has recently taken a back seat to other health concerns, that doesn’t mean that dignified, thorough dental health care is out of reach for your loved one.
If you’re caring for an elderly friend or family member and have questions about the best practices to follow, or need to schedule an in-home dental cleaning or emergency appointment for him or her, we’re happy to help. Call us to learn more about our mobile dentistry offerings for seniors at (626) 594-0374.