and Medicine for Seniors
Seniors keeping teeth longer than
ever, tips for keeping it up
Simple, routine dental care matters
for senior citizens to save teeth and live healthier
18, 2014 - Today, approximately 75 percent of senior citizens over age
65 have kept some or all of their teeth - a record -thanks to better
preventive measures like community water fluoridation and daily brushing
with fluoride toothpaste, according to the American Dental Association
(ADA). The group offers some additional tips for keeping this dental
They point out that advances in
dental care have also allowed dentists to save teeth that would have
been lost in the past. But, maintaining a healthy mouth is a life-long
goal, even for those who wear dentures, as it helps to prevent other
It can also be health for the
pocket book, since dental care is not covered by Medicare.
An example of the health threat was
pointed out in a recent article in the
Journal of Dental Research. A study found that very elderly adults
(ages 85 and older) in community-living settings who slept in dentures
were at a higher risk of developing pneumonia because bacteria from the
mouth could be inhaled into the lungs.
The ADA advises all people that
bacteria that is allowed to linger in the mouth can cause tooth decay,
gum disease and tooth loss, which is why good dental health is important
at any age.
For the elderly, and some seniors,
caretakers can make all the difference in helping them to maintain
healthy dental habits that can also benefit overall health.
Here are the ADAs top dental tips
for seniors and their caregivers:
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, plus floss teeth once a
day. If arthritis or dexterity is an issue, an electric toothbrush may
Clean dentures and gums daily; always remove dentures at night.
Eat a healthy diet.
Schedule and keep regular dental visits.
Talk to the dentist about the signs and symptoms of dry mouth, which can
be caused by medications, and may lead to tooth decay.
Ask your dentist for written instructions about any specific at-home
care routine thats recommended for easy reference at home.
Look for dental products with the
ADA Seal of Acceptance. When you see the ADA Seal on
a package, you can be sure the product inside has been scientifically
evaluated to be safe and effective.
-- Link to dental
health information especially for those age 60 and over
-- Video on
dental care for the elderly.
About the American Dental
The not-for-profit ADA is the nations largest dental association. For
more information about the ADA, visit
ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention,
care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADAs