How Seniors Can Improve Oral Health
As we’ve said many times, oral health affects overall health in the whole body. Seniors need to pay special attention to oral health to help keep the rest of the body healthy too.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Brushing twice a day may be difficult if you have arthritis, but an electric toothbrush will make the process easier. If you can’t hold floss in your fingers, think about investing in a water flosser. They are very convenient and easy to use. Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day and, if you wear dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis (soaking in solution at night is best since your mouth needs a few hours of rest.
If You Smoke, Quit!!
That is the best advice for overall health in general, but smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay and tooth loss. Smoking promotes increased build up of plaque and tartar on teeth. Smoking delays healing after dental procedures like tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery. Smoking affects how soft tissue and bone adhere to your teeth and may interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells.
Improve Your Diet
To maintain good oral health, you must pay attention to what you eat. For budgetary reasons or from habit, seniors may not keep up with what is healthy eating today. A diet high in fresh vegetables and fruits and lean meats will help maintain health better than eating large quantities of sugary foods and foods high in carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sweet treats) which turn into sugar in the mouth and spike insulin. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes and other health problems.
One of the best ways to improve overall health is to stay as active as possible. Your body will adapt to any kind of movement, whether it’s a leisurely stroll in the morning or evening, mowing the grass, weeding the flower beds, putting in a garden, playing golf, or just doing a few bending and stretching exercises a couple times a day. Simple light hand weights can help keep your upper arm muscles strong and walking is great for lower body muscles. The phrase “use it or lose it” certainly applies here. Start out slow and build up to a level that is comfortable for you. Keep using your muscles so you don’t lose them.