Why Is Dental Care Important
Oral care is important to prevent tooth decay and infections.
When a person with dementia has mouth pain, they may not be able to communicate that this is the problem, but instead, will stop eating or become restless and irritated.
Of course, dental work, like any medical procedure can be traumatic for a person with dementia, so it is important to care for the teeth to avoid unnecessary trips to the dentist.
Tricks To Care For Dentures
Caregivers should feel comfortable providing care to seniors dentures and inspect their mouths from time to time. It is not the most pleasant of tasks for some caregivers, but must be done. If they resist you, enlist help so that they can receive appropriate mouth care.
Be sure that any paid caregivers are paying close attention to your loved ones dentures and mouth too!
Dental Care For Dementia Patients
Dental hygiene is critical to overall wellness. Heart disease, gum inflammation, stroke, osteoporosis, and respiratory illness can all be caused by poor dental care. Along with foul breath, poor oral care can impair your ability to eat, chew, and communicate. Certain medications can produce dry mouth. Dry mouth makes it harder to eat and swallow, produces saliva, and promotes tongue inflammation.
Brushing your teeth is a time-consuming, multi-step operation. Most of us do this effortlessly, but if you have a memory problem, you may overlook some stages. Often need care or help. Guiding someone through the processes, or modelling the actions themselves, can assist individuals involved be more effective.
Dentures must be removed, brushed, and cleaned on a daily basis. Brushing their gums and palate using a soft-haired toothbrush while theyre on the go. Dentures that do not fit well due to gingival recession can cause pain, eating disorders, and infections.
Rubbing and caressing cheeks and jaws, moaning and screaming, rolling heads, and nodding are all indicators of dental difficulties, especially when washing the face. Cramping is one of them. Other indicators of dental difficulties include restlessness, lack of sleep, increased irritation and aggression, and resistance or hesitancy to place dentures when they were previously unproblematic.
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Health Implications Of Dentures
Did you know that elders who require dentures are more likely to suffer malnutrition?
Seniors who have had their natural teeth removed for whatever reason and now have dentures are much more likely to have difficulty at some point in the future getting adequate nutrition, especially as a result of difficulty chewing food.
Often times this leads to elimination of nutritious foods from their diets because they become too difficult to bother chewing.
Unfortunately, the first foods that are eliminated are often meats, the major source of essential protein for many. In addition, studies suggest that seniors who have lost their natural teeth have a decrease in micronutrient intake as well.
This unintentional dietary change as a result of their dentition has a great potential to result in unhealthy weight loss.
How To Clean Dentures
1. Gather supplies:
- Dentures, denture cups, cleaning paste for dentures , soft bristle toothbrush, kidney basin, towels, paper towels, gloves
2. Perform hand hygiene
4. Prep the sink to prevent denture damage! This step is VERY IMPORTANT!
- Cover the bottom of the sink with towels and fill it half-way with water. Why? Wet gloves, dentures, and water dont mix because the dentures become slippery and can slip out of your hand. If they fall they can break, which is very expensive for the patient to replace.
5. Lay down a towel on the sink to protect your supplies from becoming contaminated by the counter and neatly lay out your supplies on the towel.
6. Have extra paper towels next to the faucet to turn on and off the water.
7. Prep the toothbrushuse a paste that is nonabrasive. Be careful not to contaminate the denture paste by touching the toothbrush bristles to the paste.
8. Don gloves and RINSE the dentures with warm water. DONT use hot water or cold . First, rinse the top pair and place it into the kidney basin . Repeat this for the bottom pair.
10. Brush the dentures! Start inward and work your way outward. Be sure to clean the gum line area because food and denture paste likes to hide in these areas. In addition, make sure all the food particles are removed from the teeth.
11. Rinse the dentures with warm water and place them in the denture cup.
12. Rinse kidney basin and toothbrush.
13. Doff gloves and perform hand hygiene.
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Denture Fit Is Important
Ill-fitting dentures for seniors can lead to serious health concerns.
When dentures no longer fit well, seniors look for ways to modify their diets and change the textures of the foods they choose to help make chewing easier and less painful. Many healthy foods that have a tough, course or crunchy texture or leave behind seeds or other fibers are quickly dropped from the diet in favor of easy to masticate foods like soup and desserts.
When we stop eating the high quality nutritional foods our bodies require, we will have a shortfall in protein , vitamins, minerals, fiber and even water which can lead to malnutrition.
Seniors who are not eating well because of problems chewing their food can suffer from loss of muscle strength, bone strength and nutrients to fight off opportunistic infections.
It is important to pay attention to their teeth and gums but also the mouths of our seniors who already have dentures. They need care too to prevent nutrition and health concerns.
How To Handle Trips To The Dentist
Like most people, you probably dread having to visit the dentist. However, this strain is bound to be amplified if you are accompanying somebody with dementia. The duty is tough at the best of times, so you must prepare for potential resistance and even aggression. Nevertheless, regular dental appointments are essential for the maintenance of good oral health.
The relationship between caregiver and dentist can make a huge difference in this situation. If the dental specialist is aware of the unique needs of the patient before a check-up takes place, they can implement suitable measures and strategies. It may even be possible, with a little pre-planning, to arrange for an appointment to take place outside of regular hours.
This is useful because there would be no other people around, less noise, less movement, and less pressure on the dentist to rush through the appointment and on to the next patient. You must, however, discuss this with the surgery and the dental specialist first. It is likely to require a special agreement from the dentist to work a longer shift, so always be polite and appreciative if it does not work out.
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Mouth Care For People With Dementia
Maintaining good oral health is important for everyone, helping prevent problems like cavities, infections and pain.
However, people with dementia are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. This may be because they find it difficult to follow an oral hygiene routine, or because they cannot express that they have a toothache, meaning problems go untreated.
Everyone should clean their teeth and mouth twice a day, but a person with dementia may need your support with this. It may be helpful to sit with them while they clean their teeth so you can watch what theyre doing and prompt or help them.
Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing no less than 1450ppm fluoride this will be marked on the tube.
Make sure you give them clear, short instructions, demonstrating what to do and gently guiding them to clean their mouth and teeth in stages.
Encourage them to spit out the toothpaste rather than rinsing, as the fluoride in the toothpaste will continue to protect their teeth.
Its important to replace their toothbrush every three months, or sooner if it shows wear.
As dementia progresses, you may need to clean the persons teeth for them.
These tips may help:
If the person with dementia has dentures, its crucial that they are looked after properly.
- fresh fruit and vegetables
- pitta bread with houmous or guacamole
- rice cakes or oatcakes
- plain yoghurt
How Do You Clean Old Peoples Teeth
Smoothly sweep your brush and gently shake it with small movements. You should place your loved ones toothbrush between each tooth and gently brush with your brush.. Brushing the tongue is your least favorite way to keep your loved ones mouth clean. encourage your children to spit the toothpaste out rather than rinse it out as this decrease its effectiveness in their mouth.
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Use Of Fluoride Antimicrobial And Therapeutic Dental Products
- Fluoride toothpaste – Fluoride toothpaste should be used to brush natural teeth whenever possible, once or twice a day if possible. After brushing with toothpaste, do not rinse with a lot of water and try to leave some toothpaste behind around the teeth to prolong exposure to fluoride.
- Fluoride and antimicrobial rinses and gels – If tooth decay is evident, or the person appears to be at risk for developing decay, then the use of fluoride and antimicrobial products . These rises and gels, which are only available at the chemist, will be the most effective in helping to reduce dental decay and gum disease. They should be used weekly, and can be put in a small spray bottle or atomiser to spray onto the teeth. Note that fluorides and antimicrobials should not be used within 2 hours of each other. Perhaps try using one in the morning and one at night. Speak to your dental professional about the best options for use.
Denture Care Tips For Family Caregivers A Key To Senior Health
Family caregivers of senior adults can find themselves tackling situations that are foreign to them on a daily basis.
One caregiving task that might be unique for you as a caregiver of an elder family member is caring for their dentures.
Yes, someone elses teeth!
No way, you say?
Dentures require special care to keep them clean, in good repair, free from damage and fitting well.
Failure to care for dentures properly can yield consequences that are very dangerous for your senior loved one.
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Articles On Physical Problems With Dementia And Alzheimer’s
Dental problems can be a challenge for people with Alzheimerâs disease. Their gums often show signs of aging. They may forget to brush their teeth, or they might not remember how to use the toothbrush and toothpaste. They also may not be able to tell someone if theyâre in pain.
Call their dentist if they have a tooth thatâs a darker color than the teeth around it, or if it seems to hurt when they eat or press on the tooth.
They may not be able to tell you, so look for signs that theyâre in pain. They might:
- Wince when they chew
- Stay away from foods that are too hot or cold
- Bite their inner cheek or lip
- Act aggressively or try to bite you or other objects
- Have a white film on their tongue
- Have bad breath even though theyâre brushing their teeth
- Have a swollen spot or a pimple on their gum underneath a tooth
- Not let you look at or clean their mouth
If your loved one has a broken tooth, rinse their mouth with warm water if you can. If thereâs blood and theyâre able to follow directions, have them bite down on a piece of gauze or a wet tea bag for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. Donât put your fingers in their mouth.
Still Not Able To Brush
If you are still not able to get the job done, even with the suggestions above, try these steps.
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How To Remove Immediate Dentures: A Step
Your dentist may give you immediate dentures following tooth extraction. You will need to keep the denture in until the morning following the extraction, but once itâs time to do so, hereâs how to remove immediate dentures for the first time.
Wash your hands. Your mouth is most likely still sensitive after the extraction, and itâs a good idea to avoid any bacteria.
Remove the denture with both hands. Remove your immediate denture as you would with a standard denture, take it out carefully without scratching your gums.
Immediate dentures are not too dissimilar to regular dentures, except you may be a little sore from the extraction for a few days.
How Do You Get A Dementia Patient To Brush Their Teeth
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How Do Dementia Patients Clean Their Teeth
Generally, the easiest way is for the person with dementia to sit on a straight-backed chair with the carer standing behind. The carer supports the person against their body, cradling their head with one arm. They can then brush the persons teeth using a dry toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
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Has Anyone Had A Family Member With Dementia Get Dentures
My parents are currently in a very nice assisted living / memory care facility. I have been trying to get them moved to a facility that has a Medicaid option and the big barrier has been that my mom needs a mechanical soft diet due a lot of missing teeth and none of the 3 facilities in the area with the Medicaid option will accommodate this. It was suggested that she get dentures so that she could be on a regular diet. I have a dental consultation for her next week, but am not convinced that this would ever work out due to the dementia. I can see her taking them out at every opportunity and just laying them down some where never to be found again. Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions or experience with this?
Oral Care With Dentures Dementia And Alzheimer’s Disease
- 18 Oct, 2019
Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5.8 millionAmericans according to the Alzheimer’s Association. If your loved one has thistype of dementia and wears dentures, take a look at what you need to know aboutthese dental devices, mouth care, and overall health.
Dentures Can Help Dementia
Why should your loved one wear dentures? If they havemissing teeth, dentures can help on many different levels. Not only candentures add to the wearer’s overall aesthetic appearance, but they can alsohelp to ensure proper nutrition. Without the ability to eat effectively, it’schallenging for an Alzheimer’s patient to maintain their physicalhealth.
Beyond the ability to eat, some studies have shown thatdentures can help to improve brain function. Astudy publishedin the Japanese Dental Science Reviewlooked atbrain wave activity of denture wearers.
The researchers found that complete and partial dentureshelped to improve functional brain activity and, in the elderly, helped toreduce the risk of brain activity deterioration.
Dentures Require Daily Care
Proper dental care is an easy way for most people to stopthe spread of decay, reduce the risks of gum disease, and maintain a healthymouth. Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty with oral care – especiallywhen it comes to remembering to clean and care for their dentures.
How can you help someone in this situation? Simple steps toimprove denture care in dementia or Alzheimer’s patients include:
Dentures Can Require Extra Help
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