02 Sep The Best Dental Tools and Products for Seniors
With so many options available, knowing which dental tools are best for seniors can be difficult. Should you be using a water flosser? Is mouthwash safe for dentures? Understanding your specific dental needs will help you choose the right products to protect your teeth and gums and preserve your beautiful smile.
At Dr. Saba and Associates in Sun Lakes, we want to help you maintain good oral health in between dental appointments as efficiently as possible. Continue reading to learn which types of oral hygiene products are right for seniors with different needs.
The Four Best Dental Tools for Seniors
If you’ve been using your toothbrush for over three months, it’s time for a new one. Toothbrush bristles wear out over time and become less effective at removing plaque. When choosing a new toothbrush or electric toothbrush head, it’s important to select one with soft bristles.
Hard and medium bristles can damage tooth enamel and irritate the gums, increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. However, brushing too hard with a soft-bristled toothbrush can also cause damage, so make sure to use gentle circular and back-and-forth motions when brushing your teeth.
If you struggle to gently make these motions on your own, you may want to consider an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is an especially good choice for seniors with rheumatoid arthritis or another condition that limits mobility, because they are easier to handle than a manual toothbrush.
No matter which type of toothbrush you choose, make sure to select one with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand, and a brush head that fits perfectly in your mouth. The more comfortable it is to brush your teeth, the easier it will be to keep up good habits.
The best toothpaste for seniors is one that contains fluoride and has earned the ADA seal of acceptance. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen your tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
If you experience tooth sensitivity (pain when eating or drinking something cold, hot, or particularly sweet) look for a toothpaste that also contains potassium nitrate for relief.
Flossing with string floss and/or a water flosser removes the plaque and food particles between your teeth that don’t get eliminated by brushing. Flossing every day is crucial in preventing gum disease, an infection that can lead to tooth loss and bone loss. According to the CDC, around two out of every three adults over the age of 65 have gum disease.
Unless the spaces between your teeth are extremely tight, look for a thick string floss that will remove plaque effectively. Thin, waxed string floss will work better for tightly spaced teeth.
If you have a hard time handling string floss, you can use a water flosser instead. Choose one with water pressure between 40 and 90 psi, which is the ideal amount of force to efficiently remove plaque without irritating your gums.
Using mouthwash after brushing and flossing your teeth also helps give you a cleaner, healthier mouth. Like toothpaste, make sure to choose a mouthwash that has the ADA seal of acceptance and contains fluoride.
Because seniors are more prone to dry mouth, it’s also important to choose an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent causing or worsening dry mouth symptoms. Mouthwash that contains alcohol can also damage dentures, so be sure to read the ingredients.
Dental Services for Seniors in Sun Lakes, Arizona
In addition to choosing effective dental products, it’s also essential that seniors attend regular dental appointments. Maturing adults should have their teeth cleaned and examined at least twice a year to reduce their risk of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, tooth loss, and other serious dental issues.
Drs. Saba and Romanin help seniors in Sun Lakes maintain bright, healthy smiles with a wide variety of dental services. We’d be happy to recommend the products and tools that would work best for you! If you’re due for a dental cleaning, or have questions about the best dental tools for seniors, call 480-895-2111 today to schedule an appointment.