Most caregivers know good oral health is important at every age and is a clear indication of their patient’s overall health.
Some things caregivers should look for are signs of change in the patient’s mouth. Has there been recent tooth loss, discoloration or dryness? Often, seniors may experience those conditions, which affects how they digest their food or indicates other health problems. It’s important to monitor even small changes or signs of discomfort while eating or drinking.
Caregivers can maintain good oral health for their patients by brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily. Use special oral health tools to properly brush and floss. Rinse dentures after every meal and brush them with a denture cleaner. Don’t forget to take the dentures out before bedtime and store them in water.
Nutrition plays a large role in maintaining good oral health at any age; it’s best to limit sugary foods and drinks. Drinking lots of water keeps the teeth and body healthy. Also, don’t forget that seniors still need to see the dentist twice a year for exams and cleanings, even if they have dentures.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to all caregivers for caring for our kūpuna. You are appreciated and valued. We hope these tips help your patient or loved one live well and smile more.