How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy as a Senior

Posted on November 3, 2017

Keep Your Teeth Healthy with Senior Dental Insurance

As you get older, it is especially important to take good care of your teeth. Here is how senior dental insurance can keep you in good oral health.

Are you doing everything in your power to take the best possible care of your teeth? Senior dental insurance plays a big role in helping you maintain a healthy smile as you enter your golden years.

Your oral hygiene is an important part of your overall health as you age. Unfortunately, the costs keep a lot of seniors out of the dentist chair.

Canada has one of the lowest publicly funded rates of dental care anywhere in the world. Nearly all dental care is privately funded either out of pocket or through employer-based insurance programs.

This poses a problem when you retire and are on a fixed income.

In this article, we'll take a look at what options you have as a senior in Canada to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beaming.

There's no better time than now to start taking care of your teeth.

Senior Dental Care Programs Available in Canada

If high costs are keeping you away from the dentist, there are several Federal, Provincial and local programs that can help.

Let's have a look.

Federal Programs

Unfortunately, dental care is not a part of Canadian Medicare. However, there are several programs that can assist seniors.

Veterans Affairs Canada will provide financial support for seniors that are qualified veterans. They even often reimburse the travel costs you incur to receive treatment.

There's also the Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) program. It'll provide a wide range of restorative and preventative dental care to Inuit and First Nations people that are eligible.

Provincial Programs

Not all of Canada's provinces and territories provide seniors with dental benefits. However, there are several that have very comprehensive programs.

Alberta, for example, has a highly-regarded dental program that's well known for being committed to the oral health of seniors.

Northwest Territories and Nunavut also offer coverage for seniors.

Beyond that, Prince Edward Island and British Columbia offer dental coverage for seniors that are living in long-term care. In British Columbia, this is a pilot project, but they hope to expand it in the near future.

Local Programs

Several regions in Canada offer dental coverage to uninsured or low-income seniors. One of these is Peel Public Health located in Ontario.

Additionally, Canada's dental schools are committed to improved access to senior dental care.

The University of Toronto, University of Manitoba and Western University have programs that help provide affordable services at more cost-effective rates.

Dentistry in Canada Tailored For Seniors

If dental costs aren't a prohibitive factor for you, there are dentists in Canada that focus on the best possible care for seniors.

These practices specialize in areas of oral health that are most important to seniors, including:

  • Gum recession
  • Denture care
  • Decay
  • Oral cancer screenings

They'll recommend devices and techniques that may make grasping a brush or flossing difficult for some seniors.

They also provide treatments if you have missing or failing teeth.

Senior Dental Insurance for the Rest of Us

If you don't live in an area with available senior dental care programs, don't qualify for them and are on a limited budget, it doesn't mean that you should ignore your oral health.

Perhaps you've stayed away from the dentist for several years because you can't afford the care. You're not alone and there's nothing to fear.

Senior dental insurance is your answer to better oral health. It's more affordable than you may think.

To get quotes from the top coverage providers throughout the country, head over here and fill out some basic information.

Once you secure coverage, you can stop putting off the key aspects to great oral health for seniors.

Seniors Face Unique Dental Challenges

No matter the age, adults face certain concerns like cavities and gum disease. As a senior, however, you face a very unique set of challenges.

These include:

  • Increased decay risk around older teeth
  • Decay of the root if gum tissue has receded
  • Higher amounts of plaque buildup
  • Reduced mobility and dexterity making daily oral care difficult
  • Medical conditions that present challenges to receiving proper care
  • Hearing or vision loss that can get in the way of daily care

Because of these reasons, it's important to talk to your dentist about ways you can maintain good oral health between and during visits.

The Do's and Dont's of Senior Dental Care

A few simple tips can help you keep that smile looking great for years to come.

Dental care isn't difficult, but it does take a few commitments.

  • DON'T skip routinely scheduled dental care
  • DON'T smoke as it can lead to periodontal disease
  • DO brush your teeth a minimum of two times per day
  • DO floss or use an interdental cleaner every day
  • DO replace your brush at least every 3 - 4 months
  • DO watch your diet and eat balanced meals

Also, remember that you don't have to live with bleeding gums or constant toothaches.

If you're experiencing these problems, talk to your dentist so they can properly treat you.

Good Nutrition Keeps Your Teeth and Body Strong

We all know that proper nutrition is important to everyone, regardless of age. But a lot of seniors don't eat a well-balanced diet every day for a variety of reasons. This can negatively impact your teeth.

Some seniors avoid foods that are hard to chew or swallow because of painful teeth or poorly fitting dentures. Sometimes, changes in facial muscles or dry mouth effects what seniors eat as well.

In other cases, tastes may change due to medications or disease.

No matter what, it's important to choose healthy foods every day that you can eat and enjoy. It will go a long way toward the health of your teeth and body.

Talk to Your Dentist if You're Experiencing Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Xerostomia isn't necessarily a normal part of ageing.

There are a host of medications that cause dry mouth. But it could also be one of the first signs of a disease or health problem.

Don't assume you're experiencing dry mouth just because of your age. It could be something more serious.

Senior Dental Insurance Will Get You On Your Way

Now that you have a better understanding of your needs and options, it's time to stop ignoring your dental health.

If senior dental insurance is what you need to get you back into the dentist's office, then look no further. Get in touch with us if you have questions, or fill out the form referenced above to get a quote right now.

We look forward to serving your senior dental insurance needs now and in the future.

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