Smiling Through Retirement: The Importance of Dental Care for Seniors

Categories: Oral Health

oral health for seniorsSCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA

Dental health care is an integral component of overall wellness for people of any age, particularly as we get older. Unfortunately, seniors too often neglect their oral health, leading to serious health complications down the road. Retirement can create unique challenges when it comes to managing dental health care. This blog will offer some practical tips for maintaining dental health during retirement.

Maintain Regular Check-ups

One of the most important things you can do for your dental health is to maintain regular check-ups with your dentist. This is important throughout your life, whether you are retired or not. It becomes increasingly important as you age since teeth age as well. Scheduling regular appointments for cleanings and check-ups is essential to ensuring your teeth remain healthy as you age. The dentist can use these check-ups to perform regular oral health exams and identify any possible health concerns. Early diagnosis of oral health problems can save both time and money in the long term because it prevents issues from getting out of hand.

Ensure Proper Nutrient Intake

Eating a proper diet can play a significant role in maintaining good dental health, especially as you age. Seniors should ensure they have a balanced diet with the right nutrients to support their oral health. This is not drastically different from a younger person. Vitamin D and calcium are essential for older people for strengthening teeth as well as bones. They also help to prevent tooth decay. A healthy diet with restricted consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates will go a long way toward promoting oral health.

Stay Hydrated

Though it might seem strange, drinking enough water can also help with dental health. Dehydration is common in seniors and can lead to dry mouth. A lack of saliva that accompanies dry mouth can cause tooth decay because saliva works to neutralize the bacteria in the mouth. This helps to prevent tooth decay. To stave off dry mouth, you can also drink other non-sugar and non-alcoholic beverages, especially those with fluoride. This is an important preventative measure that will also help other areas of your body.

Adopt Good Oral Hygiene Practices

Maintaining good oral hygiene practices is important no matter how old you are. These practices include brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and using floss to clean between your teeth to maintain a healthy mouth. Tongue scraping can contribute to better breath and less harmful bacteria in the mouth, and the use of mouthwash can help eliminate plaque and halitosis. The care of dentures adds another element to good oral hygiene. Dentures should be cleaned daily and stored appropriately when not in use.

Act Quickly on Dental Issues

Occasionally, issues like tooth sensitivity, dry mouth, and gum disease can occur despite regular dental visits and good oral hygiene. In these cases, it’s important to act quickly to stop these issues from worsening. If you notice any of these signs present, talk to a dentist immediately to avoid further complications.

Discuss Medications with Your Dentist

Health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are common health complications for seniors. These conditions often require medications that can affect dental problems by potentially reducing saliva, making you more likely to develop cavities. Dentists can provide advice or offer treatment options that reduce the impact of these medications on your oral health.

Plan for the Future

When planning for retirement, it’s important not to overlook dental care. Consider the cost of oral health care when deciding on health care coverage and insurance plans. Because dental care can be expensive, many seniors struggle with the costs that can be associated with it. For this reason, seniors should take advantage of their retirement to explore different dental insurance plans. Though Medicare does not provide dental coverage, nor does it offer dental plans for sale, there are specific dental benefits and plans provided for seniors that can help cover a predetermined amount for dental services. Understanding insurance options makes it easier to choose the right plan that best fits your budget and dental health needs.

Dental health is connected to overall health, especially if you are a senior. Maintaining tooth and gum health is very important, and the best way to do that is to eat healthily, stay hydrated, and maintain a regular relationship with your dentist.

If you are a senior and are looking to investigate your options when it comes to dental health and you are in the Scotts Valley area, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry at (831) 438-4411.