The ADHA started National Dental Hygiene Month to bring attention to the importance of oral care. By the age of 64, 25% of all U.S. adults have at least one cavity. Gum disease affects approximately 46% of all adults aged 30 or older. Prevention of gum disease and cavities requires proper flossing, brushing, and regular dental visits. You, your senior and their personal care at home aides should know about oral care in older adults.
Here are seven facts to learn with personal care at home help.
Smokers Are More Likely to Lose Their Teeth
People who smoke are 300% more likely to lose their teeth. Of adults who smoke, 25% have already lost all of their teeth. If your parents smoke, it’s one of many good reasons to stop.
Tooth Loss Can Lead to Malnutrition
When your parents lose one or more teeth, it makes it harder to eat certain foods. That can lead to malnutrition as your parents stick to soft, easy-to-chew foods.
Reducing Sugar Intake Helps Lower the Risk of Cavities
If your parents need another reason to stop drinking soda, sugary drinks, and eating sugary snacks, they should consider that sugary foods and beverages increase the risk of a cavity. The more sugars they eat, the more food there is for the bacteria in the mouth.
People With Chronic Health Conditions Are More Likely to Develop Gum Disease
Certain chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease increase the risk of gum disease. The reason why is that prescription medications used to treat the diseases are more likely to cause dry mouth. When saliva isn’t produced as much, the risk of cavities and gum disease goes up.
The Cost of Dental Care May Keep Your Parents From Going to the Dentist
For some people, it’s not fear of the dentist that keeps them from seeing a dentist. The cost of treatments for cavities and gum disease is too high. If this is why they’re not seeing a dentist, they should call and talk to a dentist to see if there are options. It’s better to ask than to skip regular check-ups.
Arthritis Pain Makes It Hard to Brush and Floss
Do your parents have arthritis? That can make it hard to hold a toothbrush properly. It can seem impossible to hold floss and floss between teeth. Ergonomic devices like pick flossers and toothbrushes with rounded handles can help.
Personal Care at Home Providers Help With Oral Care
Make sure your mom and dad take proper care of their teeth. If brushing and flossing are difficult, hire personal care at home aides to help out. Arthritis is one of the leading reasons older adults have a hard time properly brushing and flossing. With personal care at home, they’ll be able to keep their teeth and gums in the best condition possible.