Many people associate cavities with children, but seniors can encounter a wide variety of dental concerns as they enter the golden years. Fortunately, many dental issues in the elderly can be prevented by taking measures to minimize the effects changing health conditions can have on oral health. Here are a few preventive care tips.
Address Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a side effect of many medications prescribed to seniors, and the lack of saliva can allow cavity-causing bacteria to build up fast. Your senior loved one should be encouraged to stay hydrated, and he or she may need a special mouthwash designed for dry mouth. It’s also important to stay away from salty food and beverages, such as those with alcohol and caffeine, that could lead to dehydration.
Helping a senior maintain good dental hygiene can be challenging. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Rocklin, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Screen for Oral Cancer
Cancer of the lips, cheeks, and tongue is more likely to occur after the age of 62, and it can be difficult to spot in its early stages. Seniors who smoke or consume more than a moderate of alcohol need to quit to minimize their risk. Your loved one’s dentist or another professional should screen your loved one twice a year for oral cancer.
Be Alert for Signs of Hygiene Needs
Certain health conditions can make it challenging for a senior to brush and floss correctly on a regular schedule. For example, severe arthritis or Parkinson’s may pose challenges with reaching into the mouth for flossing or holding a toothbrush properly. Seniors with dementia may forget to brush their teeth. Reports from the dentist of high plaque or frequent cavities could be signs your loved one needs assistance with his or her daily routine. A professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain such a routine.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Replace Missing Teeth
Dentures, implants, and bridges aren’t only for ensuring a pretty smile. These tooth replacements serve an important purpose by preventing other teeth from shifting or bearing a larger load during chewing. If your loved one loses a tooth, it’s important to talk about restoration options to prevent further damage to his or her dental health.
Maintaining good dental hygiene is just one of the many ways older adults can boost their quality of life and increase longevity. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services Rocklin families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (916) 226-3737.