5 Oral Hygiene Tips As You Get Older
As we get older there are more things to consider when it comes to maintaining healthy oral hygiene. Medications might have caused dry mouth, years of drinking coffee and tea are starting to catch up with you, and using tobacco has made your teeth yellow. The good news is you don’t have to live with this another year.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy smile as you get older:
- If you are older than 55 it is a good idea to use mouthwashes that do not contain alcohol. Your teeth and gums get more sensitive as you get older, which makes alcohol-based products more uncomfortable to use. Look for an alcohol-free solution that contains fluoride. If you suffer from dry mouth, resulting from medications, use Biotene twice daily.
- Brush for at least two minutes or more. As we get older the time we take to brush tends to decrease. Maybe we are too busy, or we are tired, and just want to get to bed. The problem with this is plaque buildup along the gum line. Invest in a good electric toothbrush with a built-in timer to ensure you’re brushing long enough.
- Get to your dentist twice a year, just as you did when you were a youth. Regular dental visits are important because if you have a dental problem your dentist can fix the problem before more serious dental work is needed.
- It is important to remember to floss at least once per day. Flossing makes a noticeable difference in an oral health routine, especially as we get older. You can also use floss picks if it’s more convenient. Be sure to carefully ease the floss down near the gums between your teeth. Use a gentle sawing motion, working your way up and down the teeth and remember to never floss below the gum line. Don’t forget to floss the back and sides of every single tooth with care as well.
- Swishing with coconut oil for 20 minutes. I know it sounds odd, but “Oil Pulling” claims range from helping people keep their mouths clean and free from food particles and bacteria, to helping stop toothaches and even acne. Even if you don’t believe the hype about oil pulling one thing is certain–The viscosity of the oil is helpful in removing food particles from your teeth that you may have missed while brushing.