While some employers offer limited benefits to retirees, dental coverage is rarely one of these perks. Unfortunately, this often means that people simply go without necessary dental care.
Why Seniors Need Dental Hygiene
Caring for your teeth is extremely important. Not only is a healthy set of teeth necessary for properly eating and speaking, but your teeth and gums can affect your overall health and quality of life as well.
When you forgo routine cleanings and checkups, you increase the risk of gum disease, cavities and tooth decay. In addition, it’s common for medications and tobacco use to cause dry mouth, which is a major contributor to serious gum and plaque issues.
Tips For At-home Dental Care
Even if you don’t currently have dental insurance, there are things you can do at home to improve your oral hygiene.
1. Carefully Floss
Flossing can be tedious, but it’s an important step to maintaining healthy gums. If you have trouble reaching all of your teeth, you can opt for disposable flossers. These can be used one-handed so that you can more easily maneuver.
2. Use Gentle Mouthwash
Choose an alcohol-free mouthwash that protects against cavities and gum disease. You can swish it while performing other tasks so that it doesn’t feel so time-consuming. If you have dry mouth, you can get special mouthwashes that help with hydration.
3. Switch to Electric
Electric toothbrushes may seem expensive or unnecessary, but most dentists agree that the right one makes a huge difference in your oral health. Many have smaller heads for better cleaning, and most come with features like a timer and pressure indicator to make sure you’re brushing properly.
Considerations For Dental Insurance
It’s possible to purchase individual dental plans in Vancouver. The Municipal Pension Plan offers two unsubsidized choices for dental insurance, and you can also speak with your company’s human resources department about what options are available to you post-retirement.
You should also keep in mind that there are programs that provide benefits and assistance to low-income retirees, and there are several clinics in the Vancouver area that provide free or low-cost dental services to seniors.
Oral Health Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought
Good dental hygiene is a vital part of your well-being. When making plans for your oral health, consider the long-term effects on your quality of life, and don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance.