Did you know 17% of seniors age 65 and over have periodontal disease? That’s because as we age, proper oral hygiene becomes harder to do. Proper oral care is important no matter what age. If you are 65 or older, you may want to follow these tips for proper oral care and gum disease prevention.
1. Practice Proper Oral Care
In order to care for your teeth properly, you need to follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation of brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Proper brushing takes approximately two minutes but to be safe, take an extra minute and split the time between the upper and bottom teeth so that you’re brushing both for one and a half minutes.
2. Floss Regularly
Flossing is recommended daily. Standard dental floss is the most effective tool for flossing properly.
3. Change Out Your Toothbrush
Is it time to switch out your toothbrush? You need to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
4. Avoid Smoking
Tobacco is linked to increased throat and mouth cancer, as well as heart disease. Quitting smoking may be difficult but it could save your life in the long run.
5. Prevent Dry Mouth
Saliva helps kill bacteria and rebuild enamel, but a dry mouth increases the risk of oral disease. Drink water frequently, chew on gum, and limit your caffeine intake.
6. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle
Your overall health is connected to your oral health in many ways. For instance, studies show a relationship between gum disease and diabetes. If you practice a healthy lifestyle with a decent diet and exercise, you’re saving your teeth a lot of trouble.
7. Visit Your Dentist
Visit your dentist regularly. The older you age, the more frequent you may need to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Bruce Silva is dedicated to serving his patients no matter what age. If you’re a senior and have additional questions about your oral health, give Dr. Bruce Silva a call. Schedule an appointment today.