Focusing only on adults 65 or older, 20% of them have at least one untreated cavity and 68% have gum disease. Certain factors increase the risk of poor oral health, such as smoking and infrequent brushing and flossing of teeth. Is your mom taking care of her teeth properly? If she is having problems attending to her teeth properly it may be time to hire personal care at home providers.
Brush and Floss a Minimum of Twice a Day
Your mom needs to brush and floss her teeth twice a day. If she only flosses once, it’s okay but twice is better. If she has a water flosser, she could use that in the morning and floss with dental floss before bed.
Most people eat a meal and immediately go brush their teeth. Ideally, your mom should wait an hour. The acid in foods and beverages softens enamel. Allowing an hour for the enamel to toughen back up can help keep it from being damaged while brushing the teeth.
Avoid Sugary and Starchy Foods and Drink Lots of Water
A healthier diet, especially when it comes to snacks, can help your mom. Starchy potato chips aren’t just high in fat, they cling and stick in the pits and grooves in the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities. Sugary foods like brownies, cupcakes, and candies aren’t great options. Even dried fruit like raisins and cranberries will stick and increase the risk of cavities.
For snacks, your mom should look at options like carrot sticks, celery with natural peanut butter, or raw almonds. They’re satisfying and better for her teeth.
After a meal or snack, your mom should drink lots of water. It helps flush away food particles and prevents conditions like dry mouth. If she can’t stand water on its own, you could get plain seltzer or add some flavoring drops that don’t have added sugar.
See a Dentist at Least Twice a Year and Purchase an Electric Toothbrush
Schedule cleanings twice a year. If your mom’s dental insurance offers more than two monthly cleanings, she might be able to see her dentist three or four times each year. It often comes down to whether she has gum disease or not.
Dental insurance companies are more likely to authorize cleanings every three or four months if gum disease is present or at high risk. Make sure your mom sees her dentist as often as is recommended by her dental hygienist and dentist.
An electric toothbrush is more likely to have a round handle that’s easy for your mom to grip. Plus, the motions of the brush head help with proper cleaning.
Arrange to Have Personal Care at Home Aides to Help Her With Oral Care
Personal care at home can help your mom with oral care. If her fingers are too arthritic or her fine motor skills are worsening, she can have a caregiver help her brush and floss her teeth. Arrange personal care at home services by calling our home care expert.