Good oral hygiene shouldn't be taken for granted. But for many adults over 55, practicing healthy oral hygiene habits is more difficult than it once was.
By not taking care of their teeth proactively, older adults may see some serious health problems, not just those related to your teeth, but those related to other parts of your body as well. With a weaker immune system at an older age, can you really afford to get sick?
Practicing good oral hygiene can prolong the life of your teeth and lower your risk of other diseases as well. That’s right, strong oral health is directly linked to good overall health elsewhere in your body.
So, in addition to our age-old recommendation to visit your dentist regularly and observe good hygiene, in this short guide, we’re going to help you address your oral health with research-backed products and improve your quality of life. Let’s get started!
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Treating Weak Enamel & Tooth Structure
Enamel wears away with age, leaving the teeth vulnerable to damage and decay. When their teeth begin to deteriorate, it becomes more difficult to chew. In turn, older adults (who are usually the victims) will miss out on nutritional foods, which can cause vitamin deficiencies.
A great non-invasive solution for weak teeth, enamel, and structure, is rinsing with a special mouthwash that does more than freshen your breath.
The CloSYS Silver Fluoride Antimicrobial Mouthwash contains sodium fluoride, which after regular use, has shown to strengthen demineralized dental tissue like enamel and dentin to help rebuild weak spots. The chemical has also been clinically shown to make your teeth more resistant to bacteria that cause cavities.
One minor drawback to this mouthwash is that it contains Sucralose, which gives it an extra sweet taste–some may find that a bit unpleasant.
With age, many older adults develop arthritis and experience motor incoordination. That makes it harder to clean dentures with a manual brush and water. With residual bacteria and germs remaining in the teeth, you risk infections, bad breath, and other oral and bodily diseases.
The BlumWay Ultrasonic Cleaner is an excellent solution for those who can’t physically brush away unwanted germs and bacteria. All you have to do is press one button and let your dentures sit for 5 minutes in a cleaning solution–research has shown that alkaline peroxide and ultrasonic vibration are superior auxiliary agents to just brushing with water.
Though relatively expensive, it’s a one-time purchase that guarantees the effective removal of biofilm (adhering to surface bacteria) from your dentures and flexes a healthy white smile.
Fixing a Dry Mouth
It’s common for older people to suffer from dry mouth (salivary hypofunction, xerostomia). Because of decreased saliva production, you’re more prone to significant oropharyngeal (back-of-the-mouth) disorders, pain, and overall lower quality of life.
Many things can lead to a dry mouth, from local salivary disorders to ingesting more medication than younger populations and other conditions that come with old age. When treated early, though, older people are protected from the negative consequences of this condition.
A great dry-mouth fix is, for example, Oracoat Xylimelts. These pills have been clinically proven to increase salivary flow and help combat dry mouth, and promote mineralization for solid and healthy teeth. Just see that you don’t take the Xylitol in excessive amounts, as that has shown to produce laxative effects. Not pretty.
Another great option is the Biotene Oral Rinse. In addition to removing odors of a dry mouth, the alcohol-free, no-burn solution uses the LP3 salivary enzyme-protein system to act as artificial saliva to moisten and clean the mouth.
Compared to regular mouthwashes in your local drug store, it’s a lot pricier given the same liquid volume. However, it’s worth the investment to many because you can comfortably enjoy drinking, chewing, and speaking after rinsing with this product.
Preventing Gum Infection
As mentioned before, advancing age makes it difficult to brush teeth well because of motor incoordination. Dry mouths can also make you more prone to cavities and gum infection due to decreased salivary flow. That’s why it’s more important than ever to properly clean our teeth at an older age and prevent gum infection.
The cariPRO™ Electric Toothbrush is more effective in removing plaque and germs to avoid gum diseases than using a manual toothbrush. Powered toothbrushes clean more thoroughly with less physical effort and reach the hard-to-reach places in your teeth for a deep clean. It’s perfect for older adults who lack the mobility and strength for a strong brushing session.
As you get older, sensitive teeth and weak gums will pose more of a problem when you’re flossing the traditional way. You’ll bleed more, it’ll hurt, you’ll feel uncomfortable.
The cariPRO™ Water Flosser is a less-invasive alternative to string flossing that uses water pressure to push out dirt in your crevices. Research has shown that along with a brush, a water flosser is significantly more effective than a manual brush and string floss for removing biofilm from tooth surfaces.
Both cariPRO™ devices are highly effective for preventing periodontal disease by efficiently removing germs and biofilm. However, they’re on the pricier side and more resource-intensive –requiring batteries, electricity, and water (for the water floss) to function correctly.
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to compromise your oral health. You’ll continue to feel great and healthy for years to come if you take care of your teeth now. By following the research-backed recommendations in this article, you’re setting your dental health up for success for a better quality of life.