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Why is Dental Hygiene Important for the Elderly?

As people age, many aspects of their health may start to deteriorate – including their dental hygiene. Sometimes, it is due to a lack of regular check-ups associated with high costs of dental care, or it could be due to an underlying mental or physical illness. With the average age in Canada slowly increasing, it is really important to highlight the importance of dental hygiene for seniors.


Other Health Risks

For seniors, poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of health risks. These risks are present in all age groups but are especially prominent in seniors. Gum disease and tooth decay can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and even respiratory diseases.


Medications Impacting Oral Health

There are certain medications that are often prescribed for conditions seniors commonly have, and these medications can cause dryness in the mouth. The dryness may lead to a number of oral health issues – including tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Tooth decay and periodontal disease may result in an abscess, the loss of bone in the jaw, which may further lead to an increase in cavities, root canals or even tooth extraction for the elderly.


Care to Avoid Major Dental Issues

While some dental issues may not be able avoidable, there are a few things you can do to help keep your oral hygiene at its best.

One of the best things you can do for your teeth is to make sure you have a hygiene appointment approximately every 3 months with your dental hygienist. While most people are recommended to have an appointment every 6 months, after you turn 65, it is best if you can increase the frequency to every 3 months.

In addition to that, make sure you brush your teeth twice daily and floss regularly in between appointments. It would also be great If you can avoid or reduce the intake of sugary drinks, drinking more water instead, as well as limit high starch foods such as white bread.


Change up the Hardware

If someone is struggling to keep up with oral hygiene, switching to an electric toothbrush can be really helpful – especially if there are mobility issues. They can also use a Waterpik to help get food particles removed from in-between the teeth as needed.


How a home care worker can help

If you know that your loved one is struggling with their regular oral hygiene, consider hiring a home care worker help them to get back on track. A home care worker can help your loved one with brushing their teeth and ensure that it is done properly.

They can also help your loved ones with meal planning and preparation to ensure that they are eating healthy foods, which will help their oral health and help them stay healthy.


Contact Vera Home Care today!

If you would like to learn more about hiring a home care worker to assist your loved one, contact VERA Home Care today.

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