Helping the Aging Population Achieve Healthy Mouths
May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons. The theme for 2022 is ‘Age My Way’, an opportunity to explore the many ways older adults can remain in and be involved with their communities. It focuses on living independently within a community for as long as possible.
The ability to access routine professional oral health services, have proper oral health education, and daily oral hygiene are all essential factors related to improved oral health. Older adults may have potential physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments associated with aging that may make home oral home care and communication challenging.
Oral Health Care Tips
Here are tips for the aging population related to nutrition, dry mouth, and visiting the dentist.
Oral health problems may have a negative influence on consuming a healthy diet by experiencing changes in chewing ability, dry mouth, pain related to tooth decay, loose or missing teeth, or ill-fitting dentures. Here are tips to incorporate to support nutritional health.
- Make a conscious choice to include healthy food choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins like chicken or fish.
- Limit processed foods.
- Limit beverages that are high in sugar.
- Seek advice from a physician for possible need of supplements.
- Limit alcohol intake since alcohol can irritate the tissues in the mouth, especially if already experiencing dry mouth.
The quality of life can be altered because of dry mouth. Here are some tips to relieve dry mouth.
- Sugar-free chewing gum or hard candies can stimulate salivary flow.
- Drink water with meals to help chew and swallow food.
- Use alcohol-free mouthwash, as alcohol can exacerbate dry mouth.
- Use a moisturizing mouth spray or gel.
- Use lip balm to soothe cracked or dry lips.
Visiting the Dentist
The basis of prevention is related to detecting disease at the earliest possible state, which requires regular dental visits.
- Bring a family member or a friend along. This will help ensure no information is missed, and now there is someone to discuss possible treatment options with after the appointment.
- Before the appointment, write down any questions so nothing is forgot.
- If something is unclear, ask the dental professional to repeat or rephrase.
- Ask if you can record the conversation on a device, so you can listen to the discussion again later.
TePe Hygiene Tools for the Aging Population
TePe would like to take some time to highlight some of our oral care products that older individuals may benefit from to maximize their well-being, health, and independence. Proper oral health is essential for whole-body health!
- TePe Extra Grip was developed to help those with reduced manual strength and dexterity by providing a removable comfortable, stable grip that will fit most TePe toothbrushes and special brushes.
- TePe Supreme™ Compact Toothbrush has a broad handle with thumbpad, along with multi-level bristles to reach further between the teeth and along the gumline. The compact head is smaller in design to make access easier.
- TePe Angle™ Interdental Brush is used to clean between the teeth, and the long handle and angled head allows easier access to the back teeth.
- TePe EasyPick™ is a great on-the-go option to clean between the teeth. The silicone coating cleans efficiently between the teeth and feels comfortable on the gums.
- TePe Denture Care™ toothbrush has extra-long strong bristles to efficiently clean removable dentures. The brush head can be bent backwards for an improved grip