Hygiene Education Program for Seniors
What is it
It is a program designed especially for seniors; our dentists and hygienists are the experts when it comes to oral health and wellness. A focus on oral health is increasingly necessary as we get older. A lifetime of good dental care can help ensure we keep our teeth long into our senior years, but continued care is just as vital.
Factors that impact the health of our mouths as we age include: any medications we take, our ability to move well, health conditions, financial constraints, loss of any teeth and assistance we may receive from others with personal home care.
Dry mouth and common concerns
Dry mouth is a common condition that is often caused by the medications we take, but it has some serious implications if we do not manage it. Dry mouth permits food particles to remain in the mouth for longer periods of time, instead of being washed away by saliva. This can lead to a buildup of plaque, which will often result in cavities.
Decreased saliva also presents fit, wear and comfort problems for both partial and full denture wearers. It increases the incidence of root cavities, gum irritation and gum disease. As we age, we can also have an increase in cavities on the roots of our teeth. Bacteria from cavities can also travel through the body and cause infection and issues with one’s overall health.
If you’ve lost any teeth, care and maintenance of your mouth is just as important — if not more. Food particles and bacteria still are present in the mouth, even if you have no teeth at all — and this can be problematic if oral hygiene is neglected. All of these situations are where assistance from a dental hygiene professional becomes even more critical.
Hygiene Education For Seniors – the process
We will discuss any challenges you may have to your oral health and help you customize a routine to keep your teeth for as long as possible.
Every patient’s dental health needs are unique, and are constantly changing throughout our lifetimes. The Hygiene Education Program for seniors provides assessment, education and awareness specific to each senior citizen, to ensure their individual dental hygiene needs continue to be met.
This customized approach ensures seniors are best equipped to care for their personal dental hygiene. Seniors receive information specific to their overall health and medical requirements to ensure that they have the best plans in place to ensure their dental needs are taken care of.
Unique to you!
The Hygiene Education Program for seniors will constantly review and assess medical, dental and personal information. This includes health conditions and medications, as well as elements of your personal life from age and diet to medical history or habits that may impact the overall care of your teeth. Your hygienist will want to understand any mobility restrictions you have or assistance you receive with your home care.
Any issues of periodontal disease, gingivitis, abrasions, temporomandibular joint issues (TMJ), grinding or clenching, gum recession, staining and more will be discussed. Your hygienist will provide you with protective techniques and suggestions to ensure proper home care, including the use of fluoride, as well as dry mouth and antibacterial rinses. Brushing twice a day is vital, and even if you have no teeth, the proper care of your dentures, including massaging your gums and continued dental visits, are very important.
Any relationships to your medical conditions, including the increasing risk of periodontal disease will be discussed, along with specific techniques or tools to maximize the effectiveness of personal brushing and flossing.