Proper dental care is key to good oral health at all ages, especially for seniors. Seniors are more likely to suffer from oral health issues like missing teeth and gum disease. Fortunately, there are many treatments to repair damage and treat common senior dental issues. Dental implants are a great option for those who are missing teeth because they restore both dental appearance and function. To find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our team of Boston dentists at the Dental Associates of New England.
Dental Care Tips for Seniors
A good dental care regimen can keep your smile looking and functioning its best at any age. Practicing proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and many other dental health issues. Seniors should follow these dental care tips to maintain a healthy smile.
- Brush at least twice a day: The teeth should be brushed a minimum of twice a day to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Proper brushing technique should be used to ensure effective cleaning. Proper brushing requires a full two minutes of brushing the teeth, using back and forth motions, and paying special attention to the gum line and back teeth.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing is just as important to oral health as brushing the teeth. Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and below the gum line where brushing alone can't reach. Be sure to floss at least once a day, fully swiping the floss up and down along each side of each tooth, to reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Brush your gums and tongue, especially if you wear dentures: Even if you wear dentures, it's important not to neglect oral health. Gently brush your tongue and gums to remove food particles and bacteria that can cause odor and infection. Also, keep your dentures clean by rinsing after eating and brushing with a non-abrasive dental cleanser daily.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash: Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash as part of your daily oral routine helps reduce bacteria buildup and the risk of gum disease.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: See your dentist at least once every six months for a check-up and cleaning. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings help keep our mouths healthy by catching dental problems early and keeping the mouth free of plaque and tartar buildup, the leading cause of gum disease.
Treatments for Seniors
Good oral hygiene habits alone can't always protect the teeth from general wear. Fortunately, there are many cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments available to improve dental appearance and restore function. Some popular treatments for seniors include:
- Dental implants: Dental implants are a permanent option for tooth replacement. Dental implants are small, metal posts placed within the jaw to act as an artificial tooth root. Different types of dental restorations, including dental crowns, bridges and implant-supported dentures, can be attached to dental implants to replace individual or multiple teeth.
- Porcelain veneers: Porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-shaped restorations that fit over the front facing teeth to mask flaws or repair minor damage.
- Dental crowns: Dental crowns are useful for saving broken or damaged teeth from requiring extraction. Dental crowns fully cover damaged teeth to restore dental strength and appearance.
Schedule a Consultation
To learn more about dental care for seniors, we invite you to schedule a consultation.