At a young age, we often only think of toothbrushes and floss when considering oral hygiene products. That changes as we grow older and encounter a variety of health conditions that affect the mouth, teeth, and gums. Seniors face many unique health conditions that can be managed with specific oral hygiene products.
That’s why I’ve taken the time to compile a list of 6 of the best oral hygiene products for seniors. Hopefully, these products can help you or a senior you know to stay healthy and happy.
Helpful Oral Hygiene Products for the Elderly
Here are several important oral care products that I think should be in the medicine cabinet of every senior or elderly person.
1. SymplBrush Toothbrush
The automatic mouthpiece or U style toothbrush is a relatively new concept in the dental care world. Their main advantage is that they can clean all your tooth surfaces simultaneously leaving cleaner teeth to a comparable or even higher standard than standard or electric toothbrushes for seniors. This is because the bristles are positioned for optimal cleaning.
Honestly, I initially had my doubts about how well this would work. The team over at SymplBrush sent me one to try for myself. I used it for over a week and only for 30 seconds at a time as indicated.
The first few uses felt a bit awkward. But once I learned how to fit it in my mouth properly, I quickly got the hang of it and was very happy with how well it worked – especially on the hard to reach teeth way in the back. I still use it daily!
SymplBrush is arguably the most effective product in this segment. With this toothbrush, you can clean the front and back of all your teeth at one time. They even state you can meet all your brushing needs in as little as 30 seconds.
This makes it ideal for seniors and the elderly who struggle to hold objects in their hands for the full two minutes suggested for brushing teeth. It is a really helpful electric toothbrush for arthritic hands especially.
2. iSmile Teeth Whitening Kit
There’s a common misconception that teeth whitening isn’t a viable option for seniors. However, most professionals believe that teeth whitening is a smart investment for adults of any age. There are some additional concerns to keep in mind, such as tooth sensitivity, but these problems can be circumvented by choosing the right whitening kit.
The iSmile whitening kits use an “enamel-safe” formula with 35 percent Carbamide Peroxide in combination with LED light technology. It’s an incredibly gentle, yet reliable method of whitening your teeth regardless of your age.
Most customers notice an improvement after using the product only once. The company claims that your teeth can become 8 shades whiter after a period of only 1 week.
3. TheraBreath 24-Hour Oral Rinse
Bad breath is something that we all fear no matter our age. An instance of bad breath can be particularly embarrassing even if it isn’t a serious health concern at the moment. Halitosis is one of the most common causes of bad breath.
Recent studies have found that more than 50 percent of elderly patients living in nursing homes suffer from halitosis. The cause has been linked to dementia, hyposalivation, and prosthodontic implants.
There are many different ways that a senior can treat bad breath. Some solutions target the symptom of the breath itself while others focus on the actual cause of the halitosis. A high-quality oral rinse is one of the easiest ways to manage bad breath throughout the day.
TheraBreath manufacturers a variety of Fresh Breath oral rinse products. They come in flavors like Icy Mint, Mild Mint, and Gorilla Grape. There are also extra-strength variations for seniors who need something stronger.
All of their formulas are designed to fight bad breath for a period of 24 hours and have been clinically tested. They work by targeting bacteria in the mouth that produces sulfur.
TheraBreath has earned a reputation as a trusted brand in the oral hygiene industry. Dr. Harold Katz founded the business in 1994. They are certified Kosher, Vegan, and Gluten-Free. All of their products are manufactured in the United States.
4. Toothette Oral Care Dental Swabs
A Toothette is a single-use oral swab that gently massages the gum and can remove the unwanted buildup of food, plaque, and fluids. It is not a reliable alternative to brushing on a regular basis, but it can prove beneficial on those nights when making it to the bathroom isn’t an option. The swabs can be kept in a drawer near the bed and disposed of after use.
The Toothette works best when used in addition to an existing oral hygiene routine. The swab is made from a soft foam with gentle ridges. It is ideal for seniors who have very sensitive gums. Traditional toothbrush bristles can be painful in some cases and even cause bleeding. Toothettes are far gentler and don’t cause any discomfort.
Unlike many oral hygiene products, the Toothette doesn’t come with any added flavors or cleaning products. It is completely untreated and safe. You can use the Toothette directly on the gums or apply your own preferred dental cleaning products.
5. Biotene Dry Mouth Management
Perpetual dry mouth is an oral hygiene problem most adults don’t realize they will encounter as they continue to age. There are many different factors of aging that can lead to dry mouth. This can include medication side effects, dehydration, and poor diet. There are also certain medical conditions like Sjogren’s Syndrome that greatly increase the likelihood of experiencing dry mouth.
While it may not seem like a severe problem at first, dry mouth can lead to many different oral health problems. A lack of proper saliva can make it difficult to chew and eat food. This can lead to poor dieting habits and malnutrition.
A dry mouth can also make it uncomfortable to wear dentures for a prolonged period of time. Without enough saliva, dentures can cause sores on the roof of the mouth.
Saliva also performs an important role in keeping the mouth clean. It removes unwanted food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. Thus, experiencing chronic dry mouth can lead directly to halitosis. Overall, it’s important to keep the mouth hydrated as efficiently as possible.
There are a few different techniques a senior can employ to fight dry mouth. The most obvious solution is to drink plenty of water. If drinks other than water are consumed they should have little or no sugar content. Drinks like soda that are high in sugar actually worsen dehydration and make dry mouth even worse.
If water alone is not enough to solve the problem, oral moisturizers like the Biotene Dry Mouth Management oral rinse could make a difference. The kit includes a dry mouth oral rinse, a moisturizing spray, a moisturizing gel. They contain no sugar, alcohol, or flavors. The individual products can protect from dry mouth for a period of up to four hours.
Introducing oral moisturizing products into a daily oral hygiene routine is an excellent way to fight against dry mouth and its many side effects. These products can be used as needed throughout the day or as part of a morning and nighttime routine. They can also protect you from dry mouth overnight while you sleep.
6. Sensodyne Pronamel Daily Protection Toothpaste
It’s impossible to create a list of oral hygiene products without mentioning toothpaste. It is one of the most important tools available for oral care. However, not all toothpaste is created equal. Similarly, not all mouths are created equal.
Some people suffer from specific problems that would benefit from a very specific type of toothpaste. That’s why the toothpaste recommended for young children is different from the toothpaste recommended for seniors.
Seniors tend to struggle with weakened enamel. Decades of eating, talking, and grinding teeth will wear away at the protective layer of enamel. The various foods they eat over their lifetime will have a serious impact on the condition of their enamel as well. Thus, toothpaste that helps protect and strengthen the enamel is usually beneficial for seniors.
Sensodyne is one of the most well-known brands and is on my list of the best toothpaste for seniors and the elderly. Their Daily Protection Enamel Toothpaste is designed specifically for seniors with damaged enamel and sensitive teeth. At the same time, it can fight cavities and reduce the risk for halitosis similar to other kinds of toothpaste.
It’s important to note that destroyed enamel can never be brought back. That’s why it’s a good idea to start using this toothpaste before the damage is irreversible. This toothpaste helps strengthen the existing enamel layer and protects it from damage in the future.
Not all seniors suffer from the same health problems. However, many of them do suffer from similar symptoms like dry mouth, weakened enamel, and halitosis. These oral hygiene products will help keep an elder’s teeth in top shape in between dentist visits.
They can also help reduce the severity of those symptoms while they work with the doctors to find solutions to the underlying problem. These products come from trustworthy brands and have already helped millions of seniors throughout the country.