As an older adult, you will find that rinsing can help prompt the production of saliva in your mouth, which is crucial to limiting bacteria and keeping gums healthy. The basic steps of twice-daily rinsing are the same for you as for everyone who wants a cleaner, healthier mouth. Refer to the tips below for guidance.
Special Considerations for Older Adults
As we age, we typically begin producing less saliva in the mouth because of factors such as menopause or side effects of prescription medications (rest assured that LISTERINE® rinse usage does not impact saliva status). This condition is known as dry mouth. The reduction in saliva can result in weaker gums and teeth over time. If having an adequate amount of saliva is a concern for you, try these tips to increase saliva production:
- Stay hydrated: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily and sip often.
- Chew sugarless gum.
- Suck on sugar-free hard candy.
- Suck on small chips of ice (but avoid chewing on hard ice, which can harm teeth).
Keep Up with Dentist Visits
Keeping a clean, healthy mouth you can be proud of involves more than just home care. Schedule appointments with your dentist at least every 6 months. And know that as you get older, your dentist may suggest scheduling more frequent checkups, such as every 3 months. Remember, when plaque progresses into tartar it can only be removed by professional tools used during dentist cleanings. Note: If you no longer have teeth, you still require trips to see the dentist to have your soft gum tissue and dentures examined.