Tips and Information

Tips and Advice: senior woman smilingThe best way to have a healthy mouth is to prevent oral diseases in the first place. Even if you don’t enjoy perfect oral health in your later years, there’s a lot you can do to maintain and even improve your oral health.

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. If it’s difficult to hold the toothbrush, ask your dentist for other options that can help you.
  • Floss once a day to clean between teeth.
  • Get regular dental checkups, even if you have dentures.
  • Limit intake of starchy snacks, sugared candy, and sugary drinks. When you do snack, remember to brush your teeth afterward. Even rinsing your mouth with water after snacks can reduce the risk of decay.
  • Manage dry mouth symptoms. Some health conditions and many medications can cause dry mouth. Drink extra water (fluoridated is best) or use sugar-free gum, candy, or mints to moisten your mouth (those made with xylitol are best). Saliva substitutes and oral moisturizers can also be effective. Talk to your pharmacist or dentist about other options.
  • If you have diabetes, pay extra attention to your oral health. People with diabetes may have more gum problems, which can make it harder to control blood sugar.
  • Ask your dentist or doctor about extra fluoride. Fluoride protects against tooth decay.
  • Check your mouth regularly for sores. If you notice any unusual lumps, bumps, or sores that don’t resolve within two weeks, see your doctor or dentist.
  • Don’t use tobacco.

For more tip and information on oral health, read the Dry Mouth Brochure from Washington Dental Service Foundation.