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Oral Hygiene for Seniors

Keeping Your Smile Healthy into your Golden Years

As you age, your dental needs change. In particular, senior patients may find themselves needing more comprehensive dental restorations and more frequent check-ups in order to keep their smiles healthy. To help support ongoing professional care, consider adding the following steps into your at-home hygiene routine:

Stay Hydrated

Medication as well as physical changes can contribute to the development of dry mouth. Under this condition, the mouth fails to produce enough saliva to chew or wash away bacteria and rebuild dental enamel. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to develop unhindered and cause commonly preventable diseases, like periodontal disease and cavities. Increasing water intake can help support saliva production and wash away bacteria as well as help improve overall health. 

Increase Fluoridation

Children are not the only ones to benefit from incorporating fluoride into your dental routine. Older adults and senior patients tend to lose fluoride through the demineralization of teeth, which occurs when acids caused by dental plaque begin attacking dental enamel. By using a fluoride containing mouthwash or toothpaste on a regular basis, you can help strengthen your dental enamel and protect your smile.

Avoid Risky Habits

In particular, tobacco in any form can increase patients’ risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. If you are attempting to quit smoking, visit your general practitioner to learn about your treatment options. 

Take Care of your Restorations

While dentures and bridges may provide a temporary solution for missing teeth, they must be carefully cleaned and cared for to prevent bacteria build-up. Maintaining these restorations also includes replacing them as needed and regular dental visits to monitor underlying tissue and other parts of your smile. For patients looking for a more permanent solution, it may be worthwhile to ask about implant-supported dentures and bridges. 

Visit the Dentist Regularly

While twice yearly visits are the standard, patients with ongoing dental issues as well as those with deteriorating smiles should consider creating a more frequent dental visit schedule to ensure their smile remains in its best health possible.

In Edmonton, Dr. Derek Fika and his team offer comprehensive preventive and restorative treatment solutions for patients of all ages. Contact our team today to schedule your next dental appointment.  

 

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