You are never old enough to stop seeing your dentist! As you age, you may think that taking care of your oral health becomes less and less important. The reality is that your oral health can provide insight into your overall health and keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy can help improve how you feel. As you age, being able to take care of your own oral health needs and getting to dental appointments can become more challenging. Using a homecare agency like iCare Home Health Services can help ensure that daily oral health needs are taken care of and even help schedule and take clients to required appointments.
Oral Health Issues To Watch For
With age, there are some oral health issues that become more prevalent. If you experience any of these symptoms or issues, be sure to book an appointment with a dental professional.
- Dry mouth. A side effect of many medications that treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s is dry mouth which can lead to cavities. It is important to let your dentist know of any medications that you are taking so that they can provide with recommendations to help relieve dry mouth symptoms and prevent cavities.
- Gum disease. Years of bacteria on your teeth can lead to gum disease. Gums will become swollen and red and bleed easily. Many adults don’t notice the effects of gum disease until it reaches the advanced stages, and if left untreated, can destroy gums, bone and ligaments which results in tooth loss. Those with diabetes are at greater risk for gum disease.
- Mouth cancer. Diagnosis for mouth cancers tends to occur for those in their early sixties. Symptoms may include open sores, white or reddish patches, and changes in your lips, tongue and lining of the mouth lasting for more than two weeks.
- Decaying or broken past dental work. If you’ve had past fillings, crowns or dentures, they will need to be replaced at some point. Bacteria can grow underneath fillings and over time, the hardware may become cracked or no longer fit properly.
Tips For Caring For Your Oral Health As You Age
As you can see, keeping up with oral health habits as you age is important. Keep your mouth healthy by adhering to these tips.
- Brush and floss daily. If you need to, write yourself a reminder note and post it in the bathroom, set an alarm or have a loved one call as a daily reminder.
- Make sure to visit a dentist regularly. An appointment every 6-9 months is recommended. Even if you wear dentures, getting your gums checked is still important.
- Change out your toothbrush every few months. If you notice the bristles being worn or become faded, it is time to replace the toothbrush.
- Maintain a healthy diet that supports your oral and overall health and limits sugars.
- Refrain from smoking or using chewing tobacco.
If you or your loved one could use some assistance with oral health care, there are several options to explore. Mississauga homecare agencies, like iCare Home Health, offer in home support that can be customized for your needs while still maintaining some independence. You can read more about available options when you visit the iCare Home Health website. When you are ready, give us a call! We’d be happy to speak with you and explore support options that will work for you. iCare Home Health provides non-medical homecare services in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Toronto.