If you're over the age of 65, you may face a number of challenges with your health, including how well you perform your daily dental care. Arthritis, poor hand coordination, and even diabetes can make if very difficult to brush your teeth and clean your gums properly. You may become susceptible to caries, gum disease, and even xerostomia. Learn how to better manage your dental health with the preventative dental care tips below.
Use More Effective Oral Care Tools
Most adults and children should brush their teeth for at least two minutes each session. Two minutes allows most people to clean their tongue, teeth, and gums properly and efficiently. However, some seniors suffer from hand dexterity problems that make it extremely difficult to grasp and hold toothbrushes and other tools with fine or thin handles. The muscles and joints in your hands and fingers may become inflamed and swollen from arthritis, nerve pain, and other conditions.
If your toothbrush handle is too thin to hold properly, wrap a thick cloth around the handle before you use it. Use a cloth that doesn't irritate the skin on your hands and fingers, such as cotton or wool. If this method doesn't work, purchase a modified oral care tool from your dentist or from an online dental store. Modified toothbrushes generally come with thick or wide handles, which makes it easier to grip and use them.
If you still struggle to keep your teeth and gums clean, ask a dentist for help.
Consult With a Dental Professional About Your Oral Health
Before a dentist treats you, they'll need to know more about your health and the limitations you face in your life. Like your regular doctor, a dentist can provide you with the tools and information you need to keep your mouth healthy. One of the tools a dentist might offer you is preventative care, including teeth cleanings.
The cleaning tools used by a dentist can reach places in your mouth your modified toothbrush can't reach, such as between your second and third molars or below the gums. A cleaning can also remove tartar, which is one of the leading causes of gum disease and inflammations. If you already have gingivitis or another form of periodontal disease, teeth cleanings can help control, or even get rid of it.
You can learn to take better care of your teeth and gums by visiting a dentist today.