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The Importance Of Flossing For Seniors

The Importance Of Flossing For Seniors

Proper dental hygiene practices are important to keep your mouth, gums, and teeth healthy, and free of diseases. It is common knowledge that brushing your teeth is essential, but more often than not, brushing alone is not enough. This is where flossing comes into play. By using dental floss, or any other tool, flossing is used to clean in between the teeth or anywhere else that toothbrushes cannot reach.

What Are the Benefits of Flossing?

There are many benefits to flossing. Firstly, it gets rid of plaque. Plaque occurs when bacteria mix with the carbohydrates that you ingest to form a thin film. These bacteria release acids that can attack your teeth, forming cavities. Also, plaque can form around your teeth and harden into tartar that will collect along the gumline. This increases the risk of gum diseases. By thoroughly removing plaque, food remnants, and the acids produced by bacteria, this means that flossing will help lower the probability of cavities and gum diseases overall. Next, another common issue that flossing can solve is bad breath. When food remnants are not properly cleaned, they will start to decay and create foul odors. Similarly, if the tooth enamel is being eroded by the bacteria in plaque, it can also contribute to bad breath.

Something else to consider is that research by the American Heart Association has shown that there is a link between heart health and oral health. Having a higher standard of oral hygiene can contribute to a lesser chance of heart failure and heart arrhythmia. This means that taking better care of your oral hygiene can also affect your health overall.

Do You Need to Floss if You Have Replacement Teeth?

Yes! Flossing is even more important if you have replacement teeth like impact, bridge, teeth with veneers or crowns, and even partial dentures. In fact, if you have any of the above, it is especially important that you floss consistently.

This is because one of the most common reasons for replacement teeth failing is due to the build-up of bacteria or cavities under the tooth replacement. Due to the structure of replacement teeth, bacteria and food can build up faster than usual.

Tools to Help with Flossing                                            

The best option is the good old waxed floss. However, utilizing it requires a fair bit of dexterity that can be hard for some elderly. For caregivers, the best way to help someone floss is with them lying down and you behind their head. This position will allow you unrestricted access to both the bottom and top arches.

Other options for flossing include the usage of tools like the interdental brush or a floss holder that makes flossing with regular floss easier. Unconventional flossing options also include air flossers and water flossers that allow you to use air and water to clean in the nooks and crannies of your teeth.

The ability to accomplish daily tasks like flossing is important not only for a person’s health but also for their sense of independence. However, with age, it can be harder to do so without help. One of the ways to provide your loved ones with the care they need is by applying for a placement at an assisted living community. To find out more about the different amenities and programs that we offer, contact us at Rittenhouse Village At Portage today.

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