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Aging and Oral Health: Tips for Seniors from Bend’s Trusted Dental Practice

As we age, our teeth become more susceptible to decay and injury. Staying on top of good oral hygiene practices is essential for preventing dental problems before they occur. At Luster Dental, we’re dedicated to helping our senior patients keep their teeth and gums healthy. In this article, we’ll provide useful tips for seniors in Bend, Oregon to maintain their oral health.

The Importance of Oral Health for Seniors

Oral health is inextricably linked to overall health. For seniors, oral health issues can lead to a range of additional complications, from heart disease and diabetes to the development of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s particularly important for seniors to stay on top of their dental health to prevent these additional health problems.

Regular Check-Ups

The first and most important step for seniors to maintain their oral health is to schedule regular checkups. At Luster Dental, we recommend that seniors come in at least twice a year for a comprehensive examination and cleaning. During these exams, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination to check for any signs of decay, infection, or damage. Dentists will also be able to identify other health issues that may be related to your oral health.

Good Home Care

In between regular dental appointments, seniors should practice good home care habits to keep their teeth and gums healthy. This means taking the time to properly brush and floss at least twice per day. Brushing should be done using a toothpaste containing fluoride to help prevent cavities. Flossing removes any food particles and bacteria that can become stuck between teeth and lead to tooth decay. Seniors should also make sure to rinse their mouths out with an antimicrobial mouthwash to help kill bacteria.

Watch for Warning Signs

As we age, our teeth and gums are more susceptible to certain oral health issues. It’s important for seniors to be aware of the warning signs of some of the most common dental problems. For example, those with sensitive teeth may notice that their gums may recede, causing their teeth to appear longer. This can be a sign of gum disease.

In addition to gum disease, seniors should be particularly vigilant for signs of tooth decay. This includes any pain or sensitivity in one or more teeth, as well as visible discoloration. These could be early warning signs of cavities, and it’s important to address these issues with your dentist as soon as possible.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

What we eat can also play a role in our oral health. A diet low in starches and sugars can help to reduce the risk of tooth decay. The American Dental Association also recommends eating foods high in calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products and leafy greens, to help keep teeth strong. Seniors should also limit their intake of acidic foods and drinks, as these can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities.

Additional Tips

In addition to the above tips, there are a few other things seniors can do to help maintain their oral health. For instance, seniors who wear dentures should be sure to clean their dentures daily with a non-abrasive cleaner. They should also take them out of their mouth for periods of time to allow the gums to relax. Seniors should also get familiar with their medications and the potential side effects on oral health. Some medications can lead to dry mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.


It’s important for seniors to be especially mindful of their oral health as they age. Staying on top of regular examinations, practicing good home care, watching for warning signs, eating a well-balanced diet, and taking a few additional preventative measures can go a long way in supporting oral health. At Luster Dental, we’re here to help seniors in Bend, Oregon maintain their dental health for life.