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How to Prevent Elderly Dental Problems

An older woman pointing at her perfect teeth and smiling

As you age, it’s likely that your teeth are going to require some extra care and attention! A lifetime of crunching, chewing and grinding is inevitably going to affect your smile, but there are certainly ways you can prevent damage and keep your teeth in great condition. Take a look at our tips that can help you maintain a healthy, youthful mouth.


1. Brush and clean in between your teeth twice a day

a senior man brushing his teeth in the bathroom

It might seem obvious, but brushing and flossing (or using interdental brushes) at least twice a day is extremely important if you want to maintain a good level of oral health. As well as preventing gum disease and tooth decay, it can also help you maintain that sparkling smile!

Receding gums are common in old age, so it’s best sticking to a soft-to-medium textured brush to prevent tooth sensitivity. If you have arthritis, you might struggle to brush your teeth properly—if this is the case, then you should definitely consider using an electric toothbrush to make things easier.


2. Keep your dentures and bridges clean

A man brushing dentures using a brush and water

If you have dentures, partial dentures or bridges because of missing teeth, it is important to clean them just as often as you would clean your teeth! Unclean dentures can lead to the same issues that are caused by unclean teeth, as well as oral thrush and other mouth infections.

To keep them clean, the Oral Health Foundation recommends brushing them with a non-abrasive denture cleaner rather than toothpaste. You should also soak them in a denture-cleaning solution at least once a day (ideally overnight, unless you’re instructed to wear them during that time). This should remove bacteria, prevent tartar build-up and help you maintain a fresh smile!


3. Prevent dry mouth

a senior man drinking a glass of water

When you get older, you’re more likely to be on some form of medication. Dry mouth is listed as a side-effect of hundreds of medicines, so this is certainly something to be aware of. The condition—also known as xerostomia—is caused by decreased levels of saliva, a substance which is essential in maintaining a healthy oral environment.

Because saliva helps to wash away food particles and neutralise acid, dry mouth puts suffers at risk of issues such as gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Ways of preventing dry mouth include chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production, using specially-formulated mouthwashes and taking regular sips of water throughout the day.


GDC Liverpool can help

Here at Leeds Dental Centre, we have a range of treatments available for people of all ages. As well as our bridgework and denture options, we also offer general check ups and preventative care to keep your teeth in tip-top condition.

To find out more, check out our General Treatments page and use our contact form to arrange an appointment. Alternatively, you can get in touch by phoning us on 0151 772 3000.


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