Oral Hygiene Tips for Seniors

Seniors should never neglect dental and oral care, especially those who still have teeth.

Plaque can quickly build up on a senior’s teeth leading to tooth decay and gum disease; there are also many other issues related to teeth and oral hygiene in seniors, which we will discuss further.

For the most part, seniors need to maintain good oral health by brushing and flossing their teeth regularly and by having set dental visits to make sure that everything is in order.

Dental Health Issues in Seniors

Here are a few dental health issues that many seniors may experience at some stage in their lives;

  • Darkened Teeth – The color of your teeth may become darker and more yellowish as you age. A Lifetime of stain-causing foods and beverages can cause this. Tooth darkening also exists because the enamel layer of your teeth becomes thinner as you age.
  • Dry Mouth – When saliva flow is reduced, resulting from cancer and radiation, as well as other conditions, you may have the feeling of a dry mouth. Certain medications likewise cause dry mouth.
  • Diminished Sense of Taste – With advanced age, your sense of taste may become impaired; even certain medications and dentures can lead to sensory loss.
  • Root Decay – When the roots of your teeth become exposed due to decay causing acids, the tissues recede from the teeth, which causes the roots to be exposed as there is no enamel to protect them.
  • Gum Disease – Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and worsens when food is left in your teeth from a lack of flossing and brushing. Tobacco and a poor diet can lead to gum disease.
  • Tooth Loss – Gum disease and tooth decay may lead to you losing your teeth.
  • Uneven Jawbone – When you lose teeth because of tooth decay, the open gaps could cause an uneven jawbone because the remaining teeth shift into the spaces.
  • Thrush – Certain illnesses or drugs may affect your immune system and trigger the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida Albicans in your mouth, causing thrush.

Tips on Healthy Oral Care Routines for Seniors

Here are a few tips to help you take care of your teeth and gums as a senior;

Dental Hygiene for Seniors

  • Daily Brushing – Firstly, start with brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride at least twice a day. Brush for two minutes at a time, and an electric toothbrush with a timer will greatly help. Ensure not to eat anything except apples and water after brushing before bed.
  • Flossing – Flossing is important, as it removes pieces of food stuck in between your teeth that brushing may not be able to reach. These pieces of food can easily lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing should be done daily, especially before bed.
  • Use a Mouth wash – You can rinse with an antiseptic mouth wash once or twice a day to freshen your breath and kill bacteria in your mouth that could cause harm. Also, make sure to use mouthwash for at least one to two minutes before spitting it out.
  • Visit Your Dentist Regularly – You should visit your dentist at least every six months for proper teeth cleaning and check-up. Your dentist will spot early signs of tooth decay, and much easier to treat and prevent further damage.

Tools for Good Oral Hygiene for Seniors


  • Toothbrush – Firstly, you will need a good toothbrush with strong bristles, not too hard, that will damage your gums. I recommend electric toothbrushes for seniors, as they are easier to handle and have more cleaning power and reaching capabilities.
  • Toothpaste – Opt for a toothpaste that contains fluoride and no harsh chemicals from a reliable brand such as Colgate or Aquafresh, well-known and dentist-recommended. You may need sensitive toothpaste if you have more sensitive teeth.
  • Floss – A Good floss, that is comfortable and easy to use is ideal. You can opt for string or stick floss. I prefer stick floss as it is easier to use, and you get biodegradable options.
  • Mouthwash – A good mouthwash that kills bacteria, freshens your breath, and helps with gum care can be ideal.
  • Gum – You can use sugar-free Gum to keep your teeth clean during the day and to freshen your breath, Gum is a good choice after eating something to clean your teeth when you do not have your toothbrush available.

Reviews: The Best Oral Hygiene Aids for Seniors

Reviewed by: Eliza Ward Score: 98

Philips Sonicare 1100 Power Toothbrush, Rechargeable

  • The Philips Sonicare is one of the best available electric toothbrushes for seniors.
  • It has a two-minute smart timer and QuadPacer to allow you to brush your teeth according to recommendations.
  • It starts easily and gradually increases speed and power.
  • The slim and ergonomic design is easy to hold on to seniors.
  • The Toothbrush is rechargeable, comes with everything you need, and has vera y long battery life.


  • The SmartLifeCo dental sticks are the perfect flossers for seniors.
  • They have a thin thread that I find easier to use and a toot[ick that is soft and gentle on the gums.
  • They are organic and vegan toothpick sticks, meaning they are biodegradable for throwing away without a guilty conscience.
  • They consist of a straw wheat material and have a no-shredding design.


  • The Spry Fresh dental Gum is perfect for cleaning your teeth and fighting bad breath and bacteria.
  • It contains no sugar or Aspartame that is harmful, only natural Xylitol.
  • The Gum is GMO-free and natural, with a great-tasting minty flavor.
  • It has been proven that using Xylitol daily can help to fight tooth decay.


  • Colgate Total is one of the best available fluoride toothpaste for seniors.
  • You also have the option f the regular, sensitive, or whitening toothpaste in the Colgate Total range.
  • Colgate Total offers complete dental care to fight off bacteria, prevent tooth decay and improve enamel strength.
  • It neutralizes odors and helps to prevent plaque buildup on your teeth.


  • We end off with a mouthwash.
  • I have chosen Listerine Total Care, as it is a well-known and very well-recommended brand.
  • The Mouthwash kills bacteria, fights odors and germs, prevents cavities, strengthens teeth, and offers gum care.
  • It is ADA accepted and has multiple benefits.
  • The Mouthwash is likewise fluoride-rich to strengthen the enamel on your teeth.

Index Table: Oral Hygiene Aids for Seniors

1Philips Sonicare - Electric Toothbrush for the Elderly
  • Rechargeable
  • Electric
  • Long Battery Life
2SmartLifeCo Dental - Stick Floss for the Elderly
  • Natural and Biodegradable
  • Floss Sticks
3Spry Fresh Natural - Dental Gum for the Elderly
  • Natural
  • Xylitol
  • Gum and Teeth Care
4Colgate Total - Toothpaste for the Elderly
  • Fluoride and Zinc
  • Complete
  • Whitening
5Listerine Total Care - Dental Hygiene Mouthwash for the Elderly
  • Bad Breath
  • Kills Bacteria
  • Gum Care

About the Author

Eliza Ward

Eliza Ward is a health enthusiast, nature lover, and full-time mother for 3 lovely kids in South Africa. She has always had a thing for improving the lives of the elderly and has the best product recommendations for all her friends and family. So she turned what she loved into her full-time job - by testing and recommending the best products for senior citizens. Read her reviews to know how detailed her observations are.