Taking care of your elderly loved one is challenging enough. Don’t make Senior Care even more challenging by neglecting to check on your loved one’s dental care. Proper dental hygiene can help tackle small problems before they become larger problems.
Your loved one needs to see the dentist every six months at least. Your loved one may be understandably reluctant to see yet another doctor, so you may have to be the one to schedule the appointments and make sure that your loved one gets to their appointments on time. If there is any chance that anesthesia will be given, then you must accompany your loved one. Even if the loved one can legally still drive, he or she will be not be able to after anesthesia.
Daily Brushing And Flossing
Seniors need to brush their teeth at least twice a day, especially if the senior is diabetic or takes medication which causes a strange taste in the mouth. If your loved one is cranky, then getting him or her to brush every evening before sleep is a major triumph. Even crowns and bridges need regular brushing and flossing. It is a popular misconception that bridges or capped teeth cannot get cavities or break. They certainly can. Food bits get caught in between the teeth and rot to cause plaque which leads to cavities and tooth loss. Treat these artificial teeth as regular teeth.
Avoid Hard Foods
Teeth of the elderly, whether natural, porcelain veneers or dental implants, are all prone to cracking and breaking. Very hard foods such as ice, peanut brittle and hard candy need to be avoided. Some seniors have chewed ice cubes or other hard foods for years and so may unconsciously begin chewing. If this is a problem, do not put ice cubes in drinks and get rid of hard candies or other hard foods in your loved one’s home.
Avoid Overly Dry Mouth
It’s normal for your loved one to have a dry mouth once in a while, but not constantly. A very dry mouth can lead to many dental problems. Talk to your loved one’s doctor or doctors about any medications which cause your loved one not to make as much saliva as he or she usually does. Sometimes medications can be switched. Also have your loved one use artificial saliva to keep the mouth moist.