It’s no secret that dental care is important for everyone. But for aging adults, it’s especially necessary.
Seniors in assisted living may have special needs that require more attention. Some people assume that older people no longer have teeth or have no need to care about their oral health. This is far from the truth.
Your oral health can reveal a lot about your overall health. Avoiding pain and discomfort is also essential to having a high quality of life. Seniors should continue to see a dentist after moving into assisted living.
If you aren’t sure about how to obtain care, you can check out government programs for senior citizens in Arizona. These programs may provide financial support for services or guide you or your loved one to an organization that can get you in touch with the dental services you need.
Why Is Dental Care Important for Senior Citizens?
Dental care is just as important for seniors as it is for anyone else. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, and even heart disease. Unfortunately, as we age, it can become more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene. That’s why it’s so important for seniors in assisted living to receive regular dental care.
Having your teeth checked is also a part of early detection. Your dentist may notice symptoms of illness long before other signs show up.
Oral infections are also not something that any senior should take lightly. Older adults have a higher risk of infection as well as related complications. An infected tooth can also make it painful to eat and speak.
Even seniors who no longer have their original teeth should still schedule regular dentist appointments. If you wear dentures, you need to make sure they continue to fit well. A receding jawbone can loosen the fit, causing discomfort.
If you have implants, you should still continue to have dental cleanings to keep your mouth healthy and free of infection.
Your dentist can also perform oral cancer screenings. Oral cancer can appear regardless of how many teeth you have. It is treatable if caught early. If the condition is ignored, it can spread and has a high mortality rate.
The Benefits of Regular Dental Care for Seniors
Regular dental visits can help seniors maintain good oral hygiene and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Studies have also shown that regular dental visits can reduce the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Seeing your dentist also helps reduce discomfort. Unfortunately, neglecting dental hygiene isn’t that uncommon. This is especially true after COVID-19 forced everyone to stay at home. During this time, many people of all ages stopped seeing the dentist to avoid infection.
While it was important at the time, it is now important to get back to having regular check-ups and screenings. Families should learn how to help elderly parents adapt to post-pandemic life, starting with their personal care and health.
Why should you or your loved one care about regular dentist visits?
- Your dentist is a first line of defense for early detection of cancer and other problems
- Seeing your dentist for cleanings and care will improve your smile
- Regular visits help you prevent or treat gum disease
- Ensures that you do not have to live with oral pain and discomfort
How to Find the Right Dentist for Seniors
When it comes to finding the right dental care provider for your loved one in assisted living, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure the provider is experienced in treating seniors. You can start by searching for “geriatric dentistry” or similar terms.
You should also consider cost and insurance coverage. Your insurance provider may be able to give you a list of dentists that are in their network.
It’s also important to find a provider who is willing to work with your loved one’s insurance provider. This will help reduce the cost of dental care and make it more accessible for your loved one.
Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover most dental procedures. If you have Medicare Part A, you may have some coverage for procedures performed during a hospital stay. Medicare Advantage, or Part C, may offer dental coverage for an extra cost.
If you live in Casas assisted living in Tucson, Arizona, you can also talk to staff and other seniors for dentist recommendations. They can provide better suggestions because they may have personal experiences with a local dental care provider.
Preventive Dental Care Tips for Seniors in Assisted Living
In addition to regular dental check-ups, there are a few things seniors can do to maintain good oral hygiene. Try these preventive dental care tips for seniors in assisted living:
- Brush and floss regularly. This should be done at least twice a day, ideally after each meal.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Sugar can increase the risk of tooth decay and other oral health issues.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a balanced diet fortifies your teeth and is good for you in many other ways.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash. Mouthwash can lower the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Seek the services of a dentist anytime you notice discomfort or changes in your oral health.
Dental care is an important part of overall health and well-being for seniors in assisted living. Regular dental visits can help seniors maintain good oral hygiene and keep their teeth and gums healthy. They can also help reduce the risk of other health problems.
You don’t have to live with tooth pain at any age. Protect yourself from cancer and other health problems by seeing your dentist regularly, even if you wear dentures.