Older Americans are keeping their natural teeth longer.1 New technology and treatments are helping, but preventive care will always be the best way to maintain good oral health.

Here are some oral health tips for seniors to keep your mouth healthy for years to come.

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush

Preventing gum disease, which can cause swelling, irritation and bleeding of the gums, starts with keeping your teeth clean. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush your teeth, gums and tongue for 2 minutes, 2 times a day.

Clean between your teeth every day

Brushing cleans the surface of your teeth. It’s also important to clean between your teeth once a day with dental floss or a water flosser to remove bacteria that can turn into plaque.

Drink tap water

Most sources of tap water contain fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay. Drinking water also helps avoid or relieve dry mouth, another cause of tooth decay.

Eat a healthy diet

Lean proteins and dairy products help strengthen teeth. Nuts provide protein and minerals, and fresh fruits and vegetables help increase saliva and clean your teeth while chewing. For more information, check out these foods that are good for your teeth.

Visit your dentist at least every 6 months

Regular checkups and cleanings are important at any age. They help your dentist monitor your oral health and spot problems before they start. If you’re on medication, or plan to start new medication, be sure to tell your dentist at your next visit.

Brush your dentures daily

If you have dentures or a removable dental bridge, they need to be brushed and cared for just like regular teeth. For more information on denture care, check out these tips for dealing with dentures.

Humana offers dental plans

If you’re looking for dental insurance, Humana can help. We offer a broad range of dental plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. Some of our plans also feature no waiting periods, which means you could get covered in about 5 days. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.


  1. “JADA: More older adults keeping their natural teeth longer,” American Dental Association, last accessed March 19, 2021, https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2019-archive/january/jada-more-older-adults-keeping-their-natural-teeth-longer, opens new window.