The Importance of Oral Hygiene for Seniors

Oral hygiene is often overlooked when thinking about our overall health, but it is just as important to maintain. For seniors especially, poor oral health can have many consequences in more areas than just the mouth. As we age, the health of our mouths need more attention than ever.

Having a healthy smile is a clear indicator of having a healthy body. Here are a few points to remember about the importance of oral hygiene for seniors.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors

Stay Hydrated: When we get older, oral medications are often prescribed to keep us healthy.  Make sure to drink plenty of water after using these products, as they can dry out the mouth.  Tooth decay can also be prevented by fluoride in tap water!

Keep Dentures Clean: Cleaning dentures properly every day prevents bacteria from growing. 

Use an Electric Toothbrush: With conditions like arthritis, brushing teeth can be more challenging, which is why an electric toothbrush may be able to clean the teeth more thoroughly.

Finish with Mouthwash: To keep the mouth and teeth clean between brushings and to reach those hard-to-reach areas, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.

Poor Oral Hygiene Risks

Gum Disease Can Lead to Other Health Issues: Food particles and plaque left in the mouth cause gum disease. As a result, poor oral hygiene can be linked to many health problems in the body and is detrimental to the individual’s general well-being. Additionally, The Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle) and Harvard Health (www.health.harvard.edu/diseases) suggest that heart disease and gum disease may be related. Gum disease causes bacteria to spread throughout the body, which increases the risk of bacterial infections that affect the heart, affect the heart valves, and cause heart disease.

Pneumonia Can Be Caused by Mouth Bacteria: When bacteria in the mouth enter the lungs after being breathed in, pneumonia can occur.  Pneumonia typically affects seniors more severely and with more severe symptoms.

Ways Seniors Sparkle with Good Oral Hygiene

Boosts Confidence: Social situations are made more comfortable and confident with a healthy smile.

Better Nutrition: Teeth that are healthy and strong allow the body to consume a variety of foods that are nourishing and strengthening. 

Prevents Future Problems: Maintaining proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly will help prevent painful dental problems.

Our goal is to help seniors live a healthy, happy life. Oral hygiene is just one of the many care services our team of professionals at Sugar Land Health Care Center is here to provide! Call us today at (281) 491-2226 to learn more about our community.