Tips for Healthy and Safe Flossing for Your Elderly Adult

Senior Care in Markham

Oral health is an extremely important component of overall physical health and wellbeing. Without proper oral health your parent can suffer from serious complications including tooth decay, gum disease, abscesses, other forms of infection, tooth loss, and inability to eat properly, leading to nutritional deficiencies. When taking care of your parent’s oral health, there are two important steps, brushing and flossing. Ensuring that both of them are handled properly is vital to protecting their health and keeping them safe throughout their later years.Senior-Care-in-Markham

Flossing can be extremely challenging for an aging adult who is suffering from any limitations such as physical needs or cognitive issues. This step, however, removes food particles and bacteria from between the teeth where it is not accessible by a toothbrush. Use these tips to help you ensure your parent is flossing safely and effectively:


  • Do it in the order that they prefer. There is some debate over whether flossing should be completed before or after the brushing step. Dentists, however, say that there is no real difference and as long as it is done, that is all that matters. This is especially true if your parent uses mouthwash or an oral rinse that will wash away any particles dislodged by the flossing.
  • Use enough floss. It is important that your parent uses an adequate length of floss so that they can switch to a fresh section with each new tooth that they move to along the way. Dentists usually recommend about 18 inches of traditional floss held taut between the fingers.
  • Scrape each side. To remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria from between the teeth, insert the floss in the space between the teeth, curve it toward one side of the tooth, and scrape down it. Repeat a few times on either side.
  • Try alternatives. Using traditional floss may not be accessible for your aging parent depending on their specific challenges and limitations. Try encouraging them to use alternative flossing devices, such as handheld flossers or a water flosser.


Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best ways that you can help them to take proper care of their teeth and stay healthier as they age in place. The personalized services of a senior home care services provider can enable your parent to feel more confident with their oral health practices and maintain more independence throughout their later years. This care provider can evaluate your parent’s specific needs, challenges, and limitations and how these might impact their oral health so that they can address them with your parent. This modified care can help your parent to keep up with their care tasks, maintain more independence, and avoid potentially devastating consequences that can come along with poor dental hygiene. When it comes to helping them with oral health tasks such as flossing, this care provider can assist your parent in the process of flossing, make sure that they keep it part of their usual care routine, and detect any changes in their behavior or other symptoms that might indicate that your loved one is suffering problems that could require additional care and assistance.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Markham, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


About Susan Di Michele

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