Why At-Home Dental Care is so Important, Especially for Seniors
As we age, we may find it more and more difficult to do certain daily tasks. What was once an autonomous routine can become something burdensome and laborious. That’s certainly ringing true for the aging community. Getting out to the grocery store, doctor or dentist may prove to be an exhausting venture. Add to that, physical or mental limitations, and they may be facing an impossible feat. They may need extra help in their daily routines–and stay on top of their health.
That’s why it’s important to understand that at home dental care plays a vital role in their overall wellbeing.
At Home Dental Care for Seniors
Senior dental care at home is not as cumbersome for some as it is for others. Regardless of their ability or mobility, it’s important for them to maintain good oral hygiene habits. Even though they may not want to, you can help them by making sure they:
- Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Eating a healthy diet
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day.
- Remember to clean dentures on a daily basis. Take them out of the mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
- Visiting the dentist on a regular schedule for cleaning and an oral exam
It’s the last one that can present a challenge for seniors who are homebound or confined to a senior care facility. As we said before, getting older, more vulnerable senior to the dentist may be impossible. That’s why Dr. Alisa Kauffman of Geriatric House Call Dentistry brings in-home geriatric dental care to them. There’s an undeniable call for house call dentists to provide at home dental care for those who cannot care for themselves. With the American Dental Association recommending that patients see their dentist about twice a year, the need is great for those who cannot leave their home.
The Importance of House Call Dentistry
At home dental care is not only important, it’s crucial to the overall health of the aging patient.
Oral health directly impacts the health of the rest of the body, and taking care of elderly teeth and gums is just as important as digestive or heart health. In fact, it can directly affect it. According to The Mayo Clinic, your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
- Endocarditis. An infection of the inner lining of your heart. It typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes.
- Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle, might be linked to periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
- Alzheimer’s. Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
Those problems can be greatly reduced or alleviated by having proper oral hygiene practices in place. If they can’t do it on their own, and you’re finding yourself in a position where you need help helping an aging, vulnerable patient, Dr. Kauffman would be thrilled to discuss your concerns. She’s been living in her calling for years, and she’s passionate about making a difference in the lives of the marginalized senior community.
Give her a call today at (917) 826-6278 to schedule a consultation.