No matter your age, it's important to eat a healthy diet. It should include lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try to keep fats and sweets to a minimum. Such a diet provides vitamins and minerals that keep your entire body — including your mouth — healthy and strong. Talk to a nutritionist or a dietician if you need help planning a healthy diet.
Eating right is especially important for older people. That's because poor nutrition can contribute to a decline in health. People in poor health are less likely to eat well. So are people with mouth or teeth problems. A vicious circle can result. This can have serious health consequences. Older people who live in nursing homes may be at a particular risk of developing vitamin deficiencies. They also may have more oral health problems.
People who wear dentures may not be able to chew well. They may lean toward soft diets. These diets often contain a lot of carbohydrates and not much nutrition.
Physical factors include:
Regular dental care can improve or prevent many of these problems. However, many older people do not visit a dentist regularly.
If you have problems chewing, you can:
If you have dry mouth, you can:
If you have a diminished or altered sense of taste, you can:
If you have arthritis or a physical disability, you can:
Visit your dentist if you have mouth pain, missing teeth, ill-fitting dentures or bridges, or other oral problems.