Why it's Easier to Keep Seniors Happy Than You Might Think
As the Geriatric Toothfairy, I look for opportunities to be the voice of people whose voice has become a whisper.
Specifically, I speak on the importance of oral healthcare for seniors, our greatest generation. When seniors get older, they can’t brush their teeth properly and at times can’t remember to do it at all.
Most of the time, my discussions center around poor oral care. I’ve repeatedly explained that poor oral care leads to gum disease.
If left untreated, gum disease causes pneumonia, dementia, heart disease, and other systemic diseases.
But today I’m inspired to journal about poor oral care and how it affects the social life of seniors.
Poor Oral Care Leads to Loss of Self-Esteem
I once went to a long-term care facility that I would visit often to clean the mouths of the residents. The staff asked me to see a woman who had an odor coming from her mouth.
The woman spoke in broken English and had difficulties expressing herself. So, communicating with the staff was almost impossible.
It was heartbreaking that she had been in the nursing home for four months, yet no one had been in her mouth. It took a lot of convincing to allow me to clean her mouth.
When she opened her mouth, I noticed she had a denture. The denture had black mold on it and there was a strong smell coming from it. The woman was so ashamed of her condition that she had tears rolling down her face.
I helped clean her mouth, but I noticed how much the state of her denture had eroded her self-esteem. She isolated herself and couldn’t freely communicate with her caregivers.
Bad Breath Reduces Quality of
Can you imagine how hard it would be to enjoy lunch with a friend if you were always worried about bad breath or wondering if it would be painful to enjoy your next meal?
The same applies to seniors. You can help them maintain their social relationships, by examining and helping seniors brush their teeth and dentures properly.
That’s why I go to these dental facilities to educate the staff. If you want to help seniors too, you can go to my website and buy a gift supply that has toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a tongue cleaner.
The gift supply also has the accountability card so the staff members can check off when they’ve provided oral care.
Tooth Loss Can Be Embarrassing
When you meet someone, the first thing they notice is your teeth.
Tooth loss can also lead to loss of social relationships, shame, embarrassment, and low self-esteem.
If seniors notice their counterparts looking at the gaps in their mouths, it could make them self-conscious. And some of them might not want to be in any social interactions.
This prevents elders from enjoying relationships with others, leading to isolation and depression. Compounded together, these issues may lead to a short life span.
Having an attractive smile will also boost their confidence and help them enjoy the time that they spend with their friends and families.
Help Seniors Avoid Tooth Loss
We can and will help seniors prevent tooth loss altogether! For training on how to maintain the oral health of seniors, contact the Geriatric Toothfairy.
Our purpose is to provide caring and quality dental health care to each and every one of senior residence.
We come to you and will provide dental services tailored to meet the specific needs of residents. Regular cleanings resolve senior dental problems in many cases.