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Oral Care Best Practices for Seniors

Sep 29, 2016 by Luke Ries

Window to the Body

Let’s be honest, the body requires a great deal of maintenance, attention, and general TLC. From abiding to a healthy diet so that we receive proper nourishment, to exercising regularly in order to strengthen our immune system, it’s a miracle that there’s room to even consider other health-related areas. But one that should never be overlooked is oral care.

We tend to think that poor oral hygiene simply affects the health of teeth and gums, but believe it or not, how you take care of your mouth can significantly impact the rest of your body. For instance, unhealthy bacteria in the mouth can increase one’s chance of developing serious medical afflictions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and pneumonia – especially late in life when the risk is already high due to other factors.

Oral Care Best Practices

The risk of developing these conditions can be lowered through proper oral care.  Together with regular dental check-ups, there are plenty of positive habits and practices that can aid in maintaining proper oral care each and every day. Share the tips below with your aging loved ones to help make their smiles brighter for the days to come.

  • Brush Twice a Day – Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. If arthritis is an issue, an electric toothbrush can be a great alternative. Also be sure to use fluoride toothpaste as it helps prevent cavities and strengthen enamel.
     
  • Floss Once a Day – Many tend to miss plaque between the teeth due to improper flossing. Fortunately, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association developed a four-step process that helps to maximize flossing efforts.
     
  • Limit Sugary Snacks – Bacteria in the mouth use sugar particles stuck to the teeth in order to form plaque, which then leads to the formation of cavities. If you do choose to have something sugary, be sure to rinse the mouth and brush your teeth quickly after.
     
  • Say No to Tobacco – Tobacco products can dramatically increase the risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and several other serious health conditions. Whether it’s through nicotine replacement therapy or finding a support group, there are several ways to help knock the habit. Quitting may not be the easiest thing to do, but your body will certainly be happy you did.
     

Oral care becomes more and more important as we age. The healthy habits your loved ones adopt now will prove to be extraordinarily beneficial and will promote positive physical and emotional well-being.

Comfort Keepers® Can Help

The compassionate, professional, in-home caregivers of Comfort Keepers® in Racine are ready to help your aging loved ones with their most specific needs. In addition to encouraging positive oral care habits, we can help your loved ones with everything from meal preparation, to mobility assistance. Our goal is to see that your loved ones have the means to live happy, healthy, and independent lives.

Want to learn more? Please give us a call at (262) 299-03020 or contact us directly to discover all the ways in which Comfort Keepers’ unique style of senior home care can make a difference in your loved ones’ lives. We look forward to hearing from you.

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