The month of Bealtaine/May is a celebration of creativity in older age. Studies continue to show health and social benefits for older people who engage in arts and creative activities. Specifically, research suggests that the arts and creativity strengthen self-confidence and morale in later life, contribute to physical and cognitive health and enrich relationships through greater social connectivity.
Oral health is also a significant factor affecting older peoples’ quality of life, all person health and wellbeing. Poor oral health affects an older person’s ability to chew and eat a variety of foods, which can result in a poor diet and weight loss.
Discomfort from poor oral health disrupts sleep and the ability to relax. It also affects an older person’s appearance, self- esteem and self- confidence as well as their ability to talk and communicate effectively.
The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing 2017 ‘Oral Health and Wellbeing in Older Irish Adults’, states that:
‘Overall, 6% of older adults report problems with everyday activities such as eating, speaking or laughing because of issues with their mouth/teeth or dentures, while over a quarter of those with no teeth, with or without dentures experience difficulties with activities such as eating, smiling or speaking. Older adults with no teeth, with or without dentures report less active social participation, lower quality of life, increased depressive symptoms, and increased loneliness compared to adults with all their own teeth’.
The Dental Health Foundation is passionate about good oral health for everyone and for older people to retain their natural teeth for longer for a better quality of life.
We are launching our Healthy Ageing Oral Health Postcard with easy tips and advice on how to do this. We want older people to be wise about their oral health, because your mouth, and smiling, matters.
Healthy Teeth For Life!