Sadly, as seniors age, it can become increasingly difficult for them to carry out the basics of daily oral care – brushing and flossing their teeth and cleaning their dentures. So your Epping Dentist wants to gently remind you that this might be a problem for your elderly seniors whether they are still living in the community in their homes or with you, or in an aged care facility.
As people age, their manual dexterity decreases – and manual dexterity is certainly needed for brushing and flossing. They both involve tricky, intricate movements in an awkward space. An additional problem is the forgetfulness that accompanies the aging process for so many seniors these days. Your family senior may not remember that they should be brushing and flossing, or they may not remember if they have done it that morning or evening. And of course, as people age, there is the tendency to think it doesn’t matter anymore — after all, there are lots of things that used to be important that no longer are.
You may be tempted to think that if your family senior is in an aged care facility, that their daily oral care will be taken care of. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case, as the Royal Commission into Aged Care was informed by the Australian Dental Association. In many facilities, the staff, lovely though they are, are flat out attending to the toileting, bathing and feeding of the people in their care. There are drugs to be administered too. They are not trained to deliver oral care.
Added to a possible lack of daily oral care, there is the problem of the increasing prevalence of oral cancers in this age group. A lifetime of cigarettes or alcohol and accumulated health issues, as well as old age itself, exacerbates all forms of cancer. Without regular professional checkups, oral cancer may go unnoticed.
Consequently, the oral health of seniors in aged care facilities can be very poor indeed.
So, what can you do about this?
Your Epping Dentist strongly recommends that you investigate what is happening for the daily oral care of your seniors wherever they may live. And when you have found out, please feel free to discuss the situation. We can advise you on possible courses of action.
We at your Epping Dentist fully support you in your desire that your aged family members have the best oral health possible for themselves and its flow-on effect on their general health and quality of life.
To find out more, please click the link for an appointment for a consultation: