Oral Care Needs As We Age

May is Older Americans Month, established in 1963 to acknowledge the contributions of past and current older persons. The theme for 2023 is ‘Aging Unbound’, exploring diverse aging experiences and discussing how communities can combat stereotypes as we expand our thinking about aging—and how all benefit when older adults remain engaged, independent, and included.  

Plaque retention in the aging population is exacerbated by the presence of dental restorations (e.g., crowns, bridges), missing teeth, and gingival recession. The aging population often face difficulty in mechanical removal of plaque because of reduced manual dexterity, impaired vision, or physical limitations associated with conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or arthritis.


Periodontal Care: Often the aging population experiences bone loss around their teeth, also referred to as periodontitis. This will require extra daily care to maintain healthy gums. Be gentle but thorough with your cleaning routine, brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth daily. You may need to incorporate an additional tool to effectively clean hard-to-reach areas.  Read More: Gingivitis and Periodontitis Informative Leaflet

Implant Care: Replacing missing teeth with implants has become a viable option, even for the aging population. It is recommended to brush twice a day and clean between the teeth once a day. Getting to the neck of the implant is essential and may require specialty brushes. Read More: Caring for your Implants Informative Leaflet

Denture Care: A denture is removable ‘false teeth’ that replace missing teeth. The tissues under the denture need care and the denture itself must be cleaned daily. Taking the denture out at night and massaging the tissues under the denture once a day to increase circulation enhance the health of the tissue. Immersion of the denture in cleansers is recommended. It is also recommended to thoroughly brush the denture before and after soaking.

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