Flossing Tips for Seniors

Posted: 1/31/2018 12:12 PM by Interim HealthCare
Flossing is an important part of keeping the mouth healthy. This process removes food and bacteria from between teeth, helping to prevent infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. Unfortunately, many elderly adults have either never flossed or stop flossing as they get older, believing that it is no longer important. As their family caregiver it is important that you emphasize to them the importance of flossing to improve and protect their oral health and to prevent potentially serious health problems throughout their bodies. In order to get the most benefit from their flossing, however, it is very important that they floss carefully and safely.

Use these tips to help your senior floss effectively:
  • Choose the right products. There are many products available that help with flossing, from traditional string floss to water flossers. Talk with your parents and their dentist to identify the products that might be most comfortable and most effective for your parents considering their own teeth and any existing problems
  • Create a routine. Some people choose to floss before brushing their teeth and some choose to floss after. Most experts agree that it doesn't matter when a person's losses, as long as they are flossing. Help your parent to create an oral health routine that includes brushing, flossing, rinsing, and use of a protective mouthwash. Follow through with this routine each morning and evening so it becomes a regular part of your parents day.
  • Make sure that they are being safe. It is easy to damage the gums when flossing, particularly if your parent is not familiar with flossing. They may push too hard and create cuts in the gums that can become painful, inflamed, and even infected. Encourage your parent to floss thoroughly, but gently. If there are any questions regarding the proper technique for flossing, particularly if you are changing the product that your parents uses, talk to their dentist and get a demonstration.
If you have been looking for a way to enhance your aging parent's quality of life and help them to manage needs in the way that is right for them, now may be the ideal time for you to start elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your parent on a fully customized schedule to ensure that your parent gets the level of care and support that they need and deserve whether that is a few hours a few days a week, or more than one care provider with your parent all day and then throughout the night as well. This means that your senior will be able to have all of the care that they need to manage their challenges in the way that is right for them while encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is active, engaged, and as independent as possible as they age in place.

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