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Dental Health for Seniors

  Regular dental care is essential for seniors.

  • Regular dental care can help you keep your natural teeth longer.
  • Replacing missing teeth or maintaining dentures directly affects health and diet.
  • Proper dental function is important for maintaining a balanced diet with sufficient nutrients.

  Dental health affects overall health.

  • Deficiencies in such nutrients as protein and zinc decrease immune function and increase an elderly person's susceptibility to infection.
  • Low vitamin C intake has been associated with decreased cognitive function and increased peripheral artery disease.

  Everyday dental care is important for those with special needs.

  • Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental visits and a balanced diet are especially important for those unable to care adequately for themselves.
  • Alzheimer's, arthritis and other conditions can impair normal day-to-day activities like dental care.
  • Caregivers may need to provide oral hygiene assistance to seniors or people with special needs.

  Tips on dental hygiene assistance.

  • Choose a time convenient for the person you are caring for.
  • Proceed at a pace they are comfortable with.
  • Support the person's head, and take special care to prevent choking or gagging if the head is lifted back.
  • Discuss difficulties with your dentist, who can recommend aids such as a mouth prop to avoid injury to teeth.
This page last reviewed on Nov 10, 2006 report errors on this page e-mail email this page print print 
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U web@HealthyMS.com Facebook Twitter RSS