Dental Care for Patients with Dementia
We all know how important dental hygiene can be for our health, but for people with dementia, it can be hard to care for the mouth properly. Supervision and assistance might be necessary to help your loved ones achieve better oral health. Here are some steps you can take.
Brushing the teeth seems like a simple task, but many people can easily forget how to do this when dementia sets in. Start by modeling how you brush your teeth while they attempt to brush theirs. Maybe doing it together will make it easier for the person to get started.
When they have trouble getting to the bathroom, simply bring the basin to a nearby table. The key is setting aside designated time for brushing.
You may also consider buying a toothbrush that features a larger handle. This makes it easier to maneuver. If they need something even larger than that, consider putting the handle into a tennis ball. Don’t forget that there are also plenty of great electric toothbrushes available that might make this task easier.
Flossing could be more critical than brushing is. Try using a floss holder or tiny brush that will easily fit between the teeth.
Some other tips you might find useful include:
· Use a mouthwash as long as they won’t swallow it.
· Take out the dentures every day to be brushed and soaked. Brush the gums and roof of the mouth if possible to stimulate the mouth.
· Eat apples when possible to help keep the teeth clean.
· Drink plenty of water.
· Avoid all hard candies, sticky foods and sugary substances.
Be on the lookout for signs there is a problem. These can include:
· Touching the cheek
· Grabbing the jaw area
· Flinching when the mouth area is touched
· Poor sleep
· Reluctance to wear dentures
If you are finding that dental care is becoming too difficult to handle at home, it is time to find a dentist that understands dementia. They will be able to teach you how to succeed and offer up some more practical solutions.
If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with the best dental office in Chicago, call us today at 773-643-6006.