Oklahoma Seniors, Take Note of These Tips – Oral and Dental Health is Important
You’ve lived a great and long life and now you’re enjoying your Oklahoma retirement at Grace Pointe Living!
That’s great news and congratulations for retiring in style and making the move to Grace Pointe. Now let’s share a few tips on maintaining your retirement lifestyle here at Grace Pointe. Let’s share a few tips from HealthFinder.gov on the importance of taking care of your oral health.
Taking care of your teeth and gums as you get older can prevent problems like toothaches, cavities (tooth decay), and tooth loss. A healthy mouth also makes it easier for you to eat well and enjoy the food.
It’s especially important to take care of your teeth and gums if you have a health condition like diabetes or heart disease – or if you are taking medicines that can cause oral health problems.
Follow the steps below to keep your teeth and gums healthy as you get older.
Brush and floss your teeth every day.
Brushing and flossing help remove dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria (germs). If plaque builds up on your teeth, it can cause cavities or gum disease.
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Brush after breakfast and before bed.
- Floss between your teeth every day. If flossing is hard for you, ask a dentist about using a special brush or pick instead.
Watch for changes in your mouth.
Your risk of getting oral cancer increases as you get older. If you see any changes in your mouth, it’s important to get them checked out.
See a doctor or dentist if you have any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks:
- A spot in your mouth, lip, or throat that feels uncomfortable or sore
- A new lump or thick area in your mouth, lip, or throat
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving your jaw or tongue
- Numbness or swelling in your mouth
- Pain in one ear without hearing loss
See the dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning.
- There’s no single rule for how often people need to see the dentist – it varies from person to person. The next time you get a checkup and cleaning, ask your dentist how often you need to come in.
- Keep in mind that Medicare doesn’t pay for routine dental care. You may want to get private dental insurance.
- For help finding low-cost dental care, visit http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/PopularPublications/FindingLowCostDentalCare.
Talk to your doctor about dry mouth.
Dry mouth means not having enough saliva (spit) to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth can make it hard to eat, swallow, or talk. It can also lead to cavities or infection.
Dry mouth can be a side effect of some kinds of medicine. It can also happen if you have certain health problems (like diabetes) or if you are getting chemotherapy or radiation (treatment for cancer).
If you have dry mouth, you don’t have to live with it. Talk with your doctor or dentist and ask what you can do.
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