Help Your Parents Avoid Dental Issues

You like to think of your parents as something close to superheroes. Throughout your life, they have been the ones you could count on to take care of you or make sure you were taking care of yourself. However, before you know it, your superhero parent will have aged, and the roles will begin to reverse. Now you are suddenly in the position of making sure they are okay. You may be the one who is making sure they get to their doctor's appointments, take their medications, eat the way they are supposed to according to their doctor, and have their house clean and tidy. There is one significant area that elderly people can be bad about keeping up with, and that is their dental health.

The elderly can be forgetful

When you have a daily schedule, you know right where dental care fits in. You may brush and floss your teeth after you take your evening shower, after you get the kids in bed, or even right before you lie down to go to bed. However, once your parents retire, they tend to have a more laidback and relaxed schedule that can cover most areas of their life. This means brushing their teeth can just be something that slips their minds. You may want to come up with a system to help remind your parents it is time to take care of their teeth and even ask them if they remembered to brush to make sure they aren't neglecting their teeth.

The elderly can be on medications that are bad for teeth

When your parents age, you will also notice their bedside table collecting more and more bottles of medications on it. Some of the medications can have side effects that can lead to an increased risk of damage to their teeth. For example, a side effect common in different types of medications is dry mouth. The problem with having a dry mouth is that it significantly increases one's chances of cavities and even gum disease.

The elderly may not notice warning signs in their teeth

Some of the warning signs of cavities and other dental issues can include bad breath and sensitivity to hot and cold things. Also, cavities can cause holes in teeth and cause them to turn a brownish, blackish, or even white color. You want to have a look at your parent's teeth regularly to make sure you don't see any of these signs. Also, look for bright red or inflamed gums, which can mark the onset of gum disease. Convincing your parents to go to their regular dental checkups will also be important.  

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