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Carlton Senior Living | March 1, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Why Senior Dental Hygiene Is So Important

senior-man-brushing-teethAccording to figures by the Washington Dental Service Foundation, almost three out of every four people over the age of 60 have only some of their natural teeth. Severe gum disease is also a serious issue – plaguing upwards of 23 percent of the people who are between the ages of 65 and 74. Poor dental hygiene is a common issue amongst seniors. This is especially true because so many different care facilities and nursing homes do not have adequate staffing. As a result, proper dental hygiene is often overlooked.

There are serious medical effects

Tooth loss, gum disease, and decaying teeth all have a serious impact on someone’s wellbeing and overall health. You increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes if you have poor dental hygiene. In addition to these serious medical issues, poor dental hygiene also negatively affects our ability to eat.

This becomes especially important because seniors might prefer soft foods and refuse to eat nutrient-dense options such as vegetables and fruits. Add in the fact that poor dental hygiene can lead to self-esteem issues and low confidence, and it should be apparent that this is something that you need to take seriously.

Tips for improving dental hygiene

It is important to note that you do not need complicated equipment or advance techniques in order to improve dental health in seniors. You can significantly improve oral health by ensuring that basic daily dental care is followed. Adhering to a regular dental care program can also prevent worse conditions from developing. It is important that seniors floss their teeth daily and brush their teeth twice daily. Those unable to do so should have a qualified nursing professional do so for them.

In order to help improve senior dental health, it is also important to raise awareness of the issue. Healthcare professionals, caregivers, and nurses should all be aware of the need to check for dental issues in their patients/residents. They should be looking out for symptoms of poor oral health.

It Is Important To Be Aware

It is important to note that poor dental health can hurt the overall quality of life and lead to other serious medical problems. A smile is a terrible thing to waste at any age. That is why so many seniors are happier in the properly staff facilities found at www.carltonseniorliving.com.