Dental Health Tips for Caregivers
Happy Smile Power Day!
National Smile Power Day is observed every year on June 15. The purpose of National Smile Power Day is to encourage people to use the power of their smiles in order to make a difference in the lives of those around them.
Giving a smile to another person can make them feel better, improve their morale, and even build their confidence. Because of the power of a smile, we at McGregor believe that it is of the utmost importance to have strong dental hygiene. Read on for a list of tips to ensure that your loved ones have strong dental health as they age.
Know Why Dental Health is Important.
Dental health is not only related to physical health, but to well-being and quality of life as well. Consequences of poor dental health include poor self-esteem, decreased social interaction, problems with eating, problems with sleeping, problems with speech, and mouth pain. These consequences can drastically alter the behaviors and attitudes of seniors if dental health is not taken care of; therefore, daily dental health practices must be prioritized by older adults and their caregivers.
Floss, Brush, Rinse.
Dental floss is used to clean in between the teeth in areas a toothbrush cannot reach. After flossing, use a toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Finally, after brushing, it is a good idea to rinse your mouth with water or fluoride mouthwash.
Establish a Routine.
Many older adults are reassured by the presence of routines. Making flossing, brushing, and rinsing a daily routine to be completed in the morning upon getting out of bed and in the evening upon going to bed is a helpful strategy to ensure that dental health is taken care of every single day. Additionally, playing a favorite song during this routine will help to put the older adult at ease and will give them a sign of what is about to happen. They are grateful for these routines, signs, and cues, even if they are unable to verbalize these feelings.
Switch to a Power Toothbrush.
An electric or battery-powered toothbrush can be much easier for a person with grip issues to hold. These toothbrushes also require less force and dexterity for good tooth cleaning.
Dental care does not stop just because a person wears dentures. The daily cleaning of dentures is just as important as the daily cleaning of natural teeth. Additionally, you must always remember to remove and rinse dentures after eating.
Change the Diet.
A diet high in acid or sugar can cause either tooth erosion or tooth decay. As such, reducing the amount of sugary or high-acid foods and drinks can help to maintain the integrity of the teeth.
Regular Dental Visits.
Regular dental visits are important for ensuring clean teeth, checking for any dental issues, and more. Visits with the dentist are also excellent opportunities to ask for advice on how to better care for the dental health of your loved one.
Look Out for Signs of Dental Health Issues
Be on the lookout for signs of dental health issues, such as only using one side of the mouth to chew. This is a sign of dental pain and the older adult should see a dentist as soon as possible.
By following techniques for proper dental health, you are sure to give your loved one a smile that can make anyone’s day better. For more tips on taking care of older adults, check out McGregor’s Helpful Resources Page.