Recent surveys show that ninety percent of adults have, on average, 23.5 teeth. Almost a third of adults have all 28 teeth, and fifty percent age 55 and older wear partial or complete dentures. But whether caring for original teeth or dentures, seniors face a range of special oral concerns, including root decay and periodontal disease. You can keep your smile healthy by following a routine of proper oral care and making regular visits to our dentist.
If you have arthritis or limited use of your hands, try adapting the toothbrush for easy use. Insert the handle into a rubber ball or sponge hair curler; or glue the toothbrush handle into a bicycle grip.
For people who have dexterity problems and cannot use a manual toothbrush, an electric toothbrush may be easier to use. Numerous studies confirm that electric brushes are excellent plaque removing devices and are extremely effective in stimulating gums. Dental floss holders are also available.
Thorough daily brushing and flossing of your natural teeth are essential to keep them in good condition—especially as you age. Plaque, the sticky, colorless layer of bacteria that causes tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, can build up quickly on the teeth of older adults, particularly when they neglect oral hygiene. This can increase your risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease.
A few simple steps can help you maintain good oral health throughout your life. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners. Choose products that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that the products have met the ADA’s standards for safety and effectiveness. Be sure to see our dentist regularly for exams and professional teeth cleaning.