10 tips for maintaining your dental health in the later stages of your life
Many older people have worries about their dental health and preserving their smile – indeed, many may already have dentures, bridges and implants, and want to know the best advice for maintaining and improving their oral hygiene for many more years to come.
We therefore decided to compile 10 tips that you will probably find useful for keeping your own teeth and mouth in tip-top condition.
1. Drink water – lots of it
Older adults, in particular, can look after their teeth more effectively by making tap water their predominant everyday choice of drink, particularly given that it tends to have the fluoride that bottled water doesn’t. Fluoride, of course, is known to help prevent tooth decay.
2. Use a soft toothbrush along the gum line
It’s the most obvious advice of all, but yes, you definitely need to brush your teeth twice a day to maintain optimum dental health in your twilight years. But make sure you use the right equipment and technique, choosing a soft or electric toothbrush and brushing all tooth and gum surfaces.
3. Visit the dentist regularly
Even if you think you have a healthy mouth and dental routine, it’s still vital to go to the dentist, who can give you a proper oral health check and point out those things – like bleeding gums or any lumps or sores – that you may have missed, in addition to providing advice on how to address them.
4. Clean your dentures – but not with toothpaste
If you have dentures, remember to clean them after meals to remove food and plaque, using a mild soap to brush them on both the inside and outside. They should then be stored in a glass of cold water overnight. Remember, too, to brush your gums and tongue twice a day with a soft toothbrush.
5. Consider using fluoride mouthwashes
Some older people find it useful to incorporate a fluoride mouthwash into their oral hygiene routine, although it’s a good idea to ask your dentist first about its suitability for you. Oral-B has a useful guide to the differences between fluoride mouthwashes and non-fluoride mouthwashes.
6. Limit sugary foods and drinks
Whatever your age, sugar has much the same damaging effect on your teeth. Try to avoid sugary food between meals in particular, as this is when they can cause the maximum amount of decay. Try to avoid adding sugar to your tea or other beverages, either.
7. Eat nutritious foods
Eating a varied and balanced diet is one of the most effective defences against an old-age deterioration in your oral health. Try to embrace all of the food groups, from fruit, vegetables and cereals to fish, eggs and lean meat.
8. Put down the cigarette
It’s never too late to quit smoking, for both your dental and all-round health. Smoking is a common cause of both mouth cancer and gum disease, to say nothing of its wider health implications.
9. Check your medications
Certain medications – such as antihistamines and antidepressants – can cause an unusually dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) – a condition also linked to a heightened risk of tooth decay. If your medications aren’t sugar-free, you may ask if sugar-free versions are available. Even if there aren’t, you can still minimise your sugar contact by rinsing out your mouth with water after taking the medication.
10. Consider chewing sugar-free gum
The chewing of sugar-free gum could be another key part of your oral hygiene routine as an older adult. Independent research found that chewing such gum after eating or drinking increases saliva production, thereby helping to neutralise plaque acids, reduce oral dryness and maintain tooth mineralisation.
This post is a collaboration between ourselves and BF Mulholland.
Latest posts by Sally - Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Should there be a specified age to retake your practical driving test? - January 17, 2019
- 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Inheritance Tax - January 17, 2019
- Tafika balances confidence and playfulness - January 16, 2019
- Meet Frankie Dettori in Dubai March, 2019 - January 16, 2019
- How to safely clean your ears without cotton buds - January 15, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!