OTTAWA AND KANATA, CANADA – Aging comes with certain complications, and aging individuals may need to make changes to their oral health routine. It’s never to late to practice good oral health techniques, and oral care shouldn’t stop if you lose your teeth.
Ottawa family dentistry providers Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott want seniors to take good care of their teeth, gums and dentures. Our Stittsville dentistry office provides oral care to children, adults and seniors. Whether you have your natural teeth or you wear dentures, there are preventive steps to take to keep your mouth healthy.
Keep Flossing, Brushing and Visiting Your Dentist
Maintain the oral health habits you’ve heard all your life – floss daily, brush twice daily and visit the dentist once every six months. Patients with missing teeth should still brush gums softly twice a day to prevent gum disease. Brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth will help remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh. Review the Canadian Dental Association’s flossing and brushing tips to make sure you are cleaning your mouth correctly.
Make an appointment every six months to visit your dentist for a routine cleaning and exam, advises the Kanata dentistry pro. If you’re anxious about you dental cleaning or a certain procedure, visit a sedation dentist to calm your fears. Be sure to tell your dentist about new medications you are taking and about any changes to your health.
Dentures help patients with lost teeth eat and speak normally, said Orleans dentist. Your facial muscles cheeks may sag without teeth, and many patients find that dentures improve their appearance as well as their health. Dentures, like real teeth, can stain and build up plaque. Routine brushing should effectively remove plaque and thwart staining.
Brush and massage your gums gently before inserting your dentures in the morning to stimulate blood circulation. Use a soft-bristled brush so you don’t irritate your gums. If that’s too rough, use a clean washcloth over your finger and rub your gums. At night, fully submerge your dentures in warm water, a vinegar-water mix or a denture cleaner. Soaking dentures overnight will help breakdown plaque and keep them clean. Rinse and brush the dentures when you get them out of the water in the morning. If you notice cracks in your dentures, call your dentist to examine them.
Missing teeth can give you trouble chewing and speaking. Talk with your dentist about fitting your mouth for partial dentures, complete dentures, bridges, crowns, porcelain veneers or dental implants.
Advice For Caregivers
The Canadian Dental Association has listed lots of tips to help caregivers provide good oral care to seniors. Caregivers should remember to be respectful when cleaning someone else’s mouth. If the senior you care for doesn’t want your help maintaining good oral health, then respect his request.
Have your patient sit near the sink. You can stand behind your patient to mimic normal flossing and brushing. This will make brushing and flossing more comfortable for you and your patient. Tell your patient to communicate his or her needs to you. If you’re brushing or flossing too hard, your patient should tell you. Listen to your patient’s concerns. Your patient may complain of mouth irritation, which could be caused by an oral sore. Look in your patient’s mouth frequently and note any irregularities in the gums and mouth. If you spot a sore, monitor it for color and size changes. Make your patient’s dentist aware of persisting sores or other oral problems.
Oral health affects your entire body, and maintaining good oral health can help you live longer and improve your quality of life. Strong teeth will help you eat, speak and smile easily.