Healthy Teeth Tips and a Tip Top Smile
Keeping your teeth healthy as a senior is a multi-faceted project. Eating healthy foods is only part of keeping your teeth healthy. Sleeping properly is another aspect. Dental hygiene and dental visits rank at the top of the list as well.
Here are some tips for healthy senior teeth – and few lifestyle recommendations too!
For Healthy Teeth
- Automatically, as part of your daily schedule brush your teeth with care, at least twice a day.
- Add in use of mouthwash and flossing regularly, for inter-tooth care.
- Brush daily and make dentists visits twice a year, even if you feel healthy in your mouth. Why? Because if there is periodontal disease in the gums, you may not feel it in the beginning. Once it is at an advanced stage the symptoms are red, swollen gums that tend to bleed. Tooth loss follows chronic gum disease. So, let’s avoid that!
- Choose an appropriate toothpaste. You need one with fluoride, but not too much . Ask your dentist to recommend the best toothpaste for you .
- Moisten and clean your mouth after a meal. Dentists recommend chewing sugarless gum. If you don’t like the image that comes with chewing gum after a meal, rinsing the mouth with water will do the trick as well.
- Keeping the mouth from drying will prevent the bacteria from getting to work. There is the chewing gum trick, the drinking water trick and the talking to the doctor trick. The doctor can check if any conditions or medications are causing the dry-mouth syndrome. It may be possible to do something about it.
- Alternatives to chewing gum are…chewing on cloves or licorice root. Both of these need a doctors approval in case of potential interactions with medication. Cloves are naturally antibacterial. Licorice has natural properties against tooth decay and gum disease, according to the Journal of Natural Products.
Happy Senior Smile Day!
- Every day is a Happy Senior Smile Day! There is always something to smile about, always a silver lining to every cloud! Being positive and smiling will help you show off your pearly whites and help you age gracefully!
- A nice smile: Avoid tooth loss by cleaning your teeth, tongue and mouth as dentists recommend. Clean the teeth thoroughly and regularly, to keep all those teeth in place, for the perfect smile. This will avoid the problem of having teeth misalignment and an uneven jawbone. If teeth are missing and no bridge is placed instead, the remaining teeth can slide slightly out of place.
- Teeth out of place, or, TMJ can affect your smile and how well you can bite and chew. Clicking, popping jaw joints would be an indication of a problem.
- Watch out for ill-fitting dentures that cause sores or fungus growth underneath. Visit your dentist to check this and other oral health issues.
- If arthritis is an issue affecting how well you can brush your teeth, use an electric toothbrush. Many dentists say that the cleaning done by n electric toothbrush is far superior to that of a regular one.
Be a Healthy Teeth Ambassador
Keeping your teeth healthy as a senior is a project that you can share with others!
- Learn some cheery tooth-brushing songs put out by the American Dental Association. Sing them yourself or with the grandchildren, everyone will love you – your friends, your children, your grandchildren and of course the dentists!
- Share messages about healthy teeth with yourself and your grandchildren. These can be spoken messages, in rhyme or in pictures if you are artistic.
- Did you know that February 28th is the National Tooth Fairy Day, a day when we encourage young children in their dental care. Ask your Recreation Department to prepare a fun senior activity, to make Tooth Fairy posters for the younger generation.
- And for the grown-ups among us, who know how to say “Thank you” where it is truly deserved, March 6th is National Dentist’s day. On that day or any other for that matter, you can write or decorate a card to your favorite dentist – after all, you do meet him or no less than twice a year.
- Encourage dental health among your friends and other residents of the senior assisted living community. Why? Oral health maintenance is a safeguard against stokes, heart attacks and other conditions related to heart disease.
So here you are, keeping your teeth healthy as a senior, and your teeth are the best that they can be! That’s definitely a reason to smile!