Daily mouth care can improve the overall health of seniors by decreasing dental disease, which may help reduce the risk of serious health problems, such as aspiration pneumonia and cardiovascular disease, and could help with the control of diabetes. Seniors facing challenges with physical and cognitive deterioration may require support with basic daily care. If you have an aging parent or are a caregiver consider the following:
- Make sure the toothbrush that a senior is using has soft bristles
- If you are doing the brushing, rather than supervising, it is easiest to stand behind the senior and it is important to ensure they are comfortable
- Ask the dentist how to conduct periodic checks between dental visits
- For seniors who have dentures rather than natural teeth, it is important to clean them daily using denture cleaner not toothpaste and still look inside the mouth for problems.
- Regular dental visits will also aid in spotting trouble signs or sources of pain. Attend the dentist with the elder in your care and ensure that you provide the dentist with as much information as possible on medical history and medications.