Supporting older adults with looking after teeth
There are many challenges for older adults which may mean they require support with their oral hygiene. Lack of dexterity and health problems could lead to poor oral health. Medication can also contribute, as a side effect of many medicines is a dry mouth, or they have a high sugar content.
People with dentures may have difficulty chewing food, others may have difficulty clearing food from their mouth which could lead to dental decay.
Helping older adults have healthy teeth
- Drinks and snacks. As with other age groups, lots of sugar in our diet comes from snacks, sugar should be avoided at times other than mealtimes. Milk and water, or unsweetened tea and coffee can be offered in between meals.
- Toothbrushing. Use a pea-sized amount of family toothpaste which should contain 1350 -1500 ppm of fluoride. The dentist can provide a higher concentration fluoride toothpaste where recommended. This can be supplemented with a fluoride mouthwash or chlorhexidene. Make sure the teeth are brushed right up to the gums. Choose a toothbrush with a head no bigger than a pound coin, or choose an electric brush. An electric one may be more useful for older people.
- Bleeding gums. If gums bleed when brushing you need to brush thoroughly to stop the bleeding. Do not stop brushing.
- Dentures. If need be, remove the dentures and clean them over a water-filled basin with liquid soap. Leave dentures out at night in water.
“Dentist made me feel relaxed, she was informative throughout the procedure and checked that I was comfortable”Dawn R
“All round excellence. Cheerful, welcoming, helpful receptionists, extremely clean reception and waiting area, very sympathetic, caring and reassuring dentists and dental nurses/assistants.”Trevor H
“The Practice was quiet at the time of my appointment and I did not have to wait for my appointment. The new dentist I saw was friendly and knowledgeable and made me feel at ease. The staff are friendly and the visit was a pleasant one.”Anthony G
“I am quite a nervous patient and my dentist and assistant very much put me at ease before and during my appointment. Very thoughtful and respectful in their treatment of me.
I had a call later in the day from the surgery to make sure I was ok which I really appreciated.”
“My son and I had it appointment at 9am, we were seen promptly by the dentist who was both knowledgeable and courteous.”Michael S
“We consider ourselves lucky to have found this Dental Practice when we moved to the area. Our confidence has been reinstated with Dentists.
At SCA Trafalgar the reception staff are polite and welcoming. We are registered with Karen who is caring, gentle and professional. We are very satisfied with this Practice and if the occasion arises we would recommend.”Ken C
“I’ve been a patient of yours for 8 years now, I’ve gone from being petrified of dentists to being very very confident, my dentist is Karen and it’s actually a pleasure seeing her.Diane S
The receptionists are very welcoming too, I asked to get my grandson an appointment, unfortunately I had to wait a few weeks, but I’m prepared to wait as I can’t think of a nicer dentist surgery for him to come to, everyone is lovely – 10 out of 10 to all the staff.