Gum disease and other dental health issues are common in elderly people. As people age, they may have difficulty performing regular oral hygiene routines, which can lead to gum inflammation, bleeding, tooth decay, and other complications. However, taking care of the teeth and gums may be easier than your senior loved one realizes. Here are a few tips to help your loved one practise better dental hygiene.
Consume Foods with Plenty of Vitamin C
Aging gums can be sensitive to brushing and flossing, and performing oral care can even cause pain. Because of this, it’s important to offer your loved one foods rich in vitamin C. This crucial nutrient can reduce gingival inflammation as well as the frequency and intensity of bleeding gums. If your loved one has gingivitis but doesn’t like citrus fruits, talk to his or her primary physician to determine if your loved one might benefit from taking vitamin C supplements.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Rinse the Mouth Regularly
Even if your loved one is unable to brush and floss after every meal, there are still easy ways to practise good oral health. Rinsing the mouth with water after meals can flush away bacteria and food particles, preventing bacteria from growing under the gum line or between the teeth. Encourage your loved one to gently swish water around the mouth for a few seconds before spitting it out. Though not as effective as brushing or flossing, rinsing with water can still keep oral bacteria at bay.
Helping a senior maintain good dental hygiene can be challenging. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Waterloo, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Eating apples and other crunchy fruits and vegetables stimulates and enhances blood flow to the gum tissue, keeping it strong and free of infection. If your loved one wears dentures, eating apples may be problematic, but slicing the fruit into small bite-sized pieces can make it easier to chew.
Use a Water Pulse Instrument
Water pulse dental appliances like water picks and oral irrigators are an excellent alternative to flossing. The stream of water gets in between the teeth and gently flushes out food particles and bacteria without damaging sensitive gums. If your loved one has difficulty brushing and flossing or doesn’t enjoy doing so, a water pulse device may make his or her oral hygiene routine more pleasant.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care service. Waterloo, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (519) 954-2111 today.