In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent stay at home orders, there’s a good chance you’re unable to attend your annual or bi-annual dental cleaning and checkup. This is of particular relevance to older adults who are more at risk when it comes to contracting any contagious disease.
For those of us older adults who routinely visit the dentist for our cleanings or checkups, you’re likely a little concerned about the state of your oral health and whether you are at risk of causing issues down the line if you forgo your dental checkups.
Good oral care is important at all ages. That in mind, there are still a few things you the elderly can do to take care of your teeth from the comfort of your own home while you wait out lockdown or social distancing orders that prevent you from visiting your local dentist.
Take a look at our top 5 tips that older adults should consider in regards to taking care of your teeth below.
1. Get into a Routine and Stick to It
The most important tip that we’re going to suggest is getting into an oral health routine and sticking to it in the long term.
What we mean by this is making the most of the time you spend cleaning your teeth and focus heavily on making sure that you’re getting the most out of the time that you’re brushing.
Work on between two and five minutes in the morning and evening and don’t forget to floss too. You’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting those hard to reach places between your teeth.
To end, it is good to get used to the correct way of brushing too, which means soft circular motions over the teeth and then the tongue.
2. Floss is Crucial
Most older adults will already know that flossing isn’t the most fun activity out there, and it can sometimes result in a little blood, however, it’s a must.
If you’re not flossing your teeth on a regular basis, you’re missing a large portion of your mouth and plaque-causing bacteria between each of your teeth. And that in mind, you’re going to cause foster the build up of these bacteria and issues over time.
Be sure that you add flossing twice a day to your dental routine and you’ll be in the all-clear until your dentist can get a good look.
3. Don’t Use an Old Toothbrush
Our third tip is to make sure that you’re replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis.
As you might already know, you should be working to change your toothbrush a few times a year or as soon as you notice that it’s getting a little worn down.
You will find that an old, tired toothbrush does a poor job at brushing your teeth, and as a result, leaves you with a higher risk of developing plaque and other dental issues in the long term — like tooth decay.
Sometimes after a checkup or a dental cleaning, dentists like Putney Dental will offer you a new toothbrush to make cleaning a little bit more effective.
4. Keep Hydrated
A simple tip that often surprises most elderly people is keeping hydrated.
You’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting that ideal 1 to 2 litres of water each day because this is going to stimulate saliva production and give your body the chance to neutralise a lot of different types of bacteria on its own.
Just by drinking your optimal amount of water each day, you’re keeping on top of your oral health and reducing the chances of bacteria and plaque build up over time — because your salvia production will be just a little higher and more effective.
Water will also help to wash out your mouth during the day too, removing any excess food particles that have stuck to your teeth.
5. Don’t Forget Your Mouthwash
To end our list of tips, we highly suggest you invest in a quality mouthwash.
We know that mouthwash makes us feel nice and clean after we’ve brushed our teeth, though it also does a fantastic job at killing off any leftover bacteria in our mouths that might be causing us issues.
As you’ll agree, our cheeks and inside our mouths don’t get a great brush, and so our mouthwash will do the hard work for us here in neutralising a lot of the bacteria that might end up sneaking onto our gums and leaving us with a heightened risk of gingivitis and decay.
We’re going to leave you by saying that you should always make sure you head down to your dentist at least once a year for that checkup and clean. This is a general rule for good dental hygiene that elderly patients should pay close attention to.
There is no better person to give you good feedback on your oral health and leave you with a nice, clean and cavity-free mouth than your dentist, and so making a booking with them is essential.
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