Dental Care For Older People

Problems associated with ageing

As you get older, your gums may recede and your teeth may become a little more sensitive as a result. The dentist or hygienist will be able to advise you on the best brushing methods to keep any gum problems under control, and may suggest you use a mouthwash or special toothpaste to help with the sensitivity. You may also find that brushing gets a bit more difficult if your manual dexterity is reduced or if your eyesight is less than perfect. Again, help and advice will be needed for the best aids to use: a magnifying mirror and a good light, and brushes with enlarged handles - or fitted with handle adaptors - are often helpful. Electric toothbrushes are also ideal for anyone with limited movement. The handles are thicker and easier to hold and the oscillating head does most of the work.

Older people are often prescribed medicines and tablets which can cause a dry mouth as a side effect. Decay can occur more quickly in a dry mouth. Many people find that sucking boiled sweets or sipping drinks throughout the day helps dryness, but remember that prolonged exposure to sugary substances is bad for your teeth and gums. Sugar free sweets or gum are a healthier alternative. Ask your dentist for advice. Alternatively, special products including artificial saliva are available over the counter in most chemists.

Mouth ulcers are generally more common in older people and can be caused by broken teeth, poorly-fitting dentures or sharp pieces of food. Provided the cause is dealt with, an ulcer should heal within two weeks. If you notice an ulcer which does not heal, consult your dentist straight away as this can be an early sign of mouth cancer. It's still important to have regular check ups even if you have none of your own teeth.


If you do lose teeth, you should be able to have dentures fitted very quickly - sometimes the same day. Your dentures will need to be checked and adjusted by the dentist within six to twelve months because the shape of your gums will alter after your teeth are removed. Dentures are likely to need replacing every five years, as the shape of your mouth continues to change throughout life. Most people manage to adapt well to their dentures. However, go back to your dentist if your dentures cause soreness, speech problems or eating difficulties.

Your mouth will need a rest from wearing dentures and the dentist is likely to advise you to leave them out at night. Always make sure your dentures are placed in cold water when not in your mouth, to prevent warping. Thoroughly clean your dentures once a day with toothpaste or a denture cleaner and a small toothbrush, followed by soaking in a denture cleaning solution. A useful tip is to clean dentures over a basin of water to avoid damage if you drop them. If you notice a build up of stain or scale, have your dentures cleaned by your dentist or hygienist. For short periods of time or on special occasions, when extra confidence is needed, denture fixatives may be useful. After use, ensure that you remove all traces of fixative from both the dentures and your mouth.

Summary of good dental care

Good dental health begins with you. By following this simple routine, you can keep teeth and gums clean and healthy:

Use a small to medium sized multi-tufted toothbrush with round ended nylon filaments.

Thoroughly brush teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.

Remember to concentrate on the area where tooth meets gum.

Use dental tape or floss to clean between your teeth.

If necessary, use disclosing tablets to help identify areas of your mouth which need more attention.

Have regular check-ups.

Reduce the frequency of intake of sugary foods and drinks and try to avoid snacks between meals

Similar of Dental Care For Older People

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums

Looking after your teeth and gums is the key to reducing the amount of dental treatment you need - avoiding gum disease and tooth decay - and keeping your

Looking After Children's Teeth

When will my baby's teeth appear? Your baby will start teething at about six months and will continue until all 20 'milk teeth' are present at the age of about

Top Oral Health Tips for Childhood, Teenage Years, Adulthood, Elderly People

Top Oral Health Tips for Childhood, Teenage Years, Adulthood, Elderly People Professor Mike Morgan, Principal Oral Health, Advisor at Dental Health Services Victoria : , gives his top tips for good oral health for

Dental Care for Older Children

Encouraging good dental health in our children helps them to make the most of their appearance and gives them confidence. It also helps avoid the mouths full

Nutrition for The Teeth and Gums

Nutrition for The Teeth and Gums In addition to brushing and flossing, a prudent diet - with natural or added fluoride) protects teeth from decay and keeps the gums healthy. Tooth decay (

The Mouth

Examination of the mouth often shows some unhealthy condition of the lining mucous membrane, or of the teeth, gums, tonsils, or tongue. Any such disorder

When to Visit Your Dentist

When to Visit Your Dentist Every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup If your gums bleed easily or are swollen, reddened, or soft If you notice a change in your bite If you have an



Post new comment