Even if your senior loved one does not have teeth, it is still important to maintain oral hygiene. Proper hygiene can prevent infections or other oral conditions that can lead to discomfort and poor health. Follow this checklist to keep your loved one’s mouth and oral prosthetics as healthy as possible.
Gently Clean Gums
Make sure your loved one cleans the gums twice a day. This can be done with either a very soft toothbrush or with a wet washcloth. Since the gums are a much softer surface than the teeth, your loved one does not need to apply a lot of pressure to clean the gums.
Seniors who need assistance with maintaining good oral hygiene habits or managing daily activities can benefit from professional in-home care. Galt Ocean Mile, Florida, home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
Swish with an Antibacterial Mouthwash
The tongue tends to be a place where bacteria thrive, causing infections and bad breath. Your loved one should swish an antibacterial mouthwash around for a minute twice a day to make sure his or her tongue is clean. It is best to do this without any dentures in, since some mouthwash solutions may damage denture surfaces.
Rinse Dentures After Meals
Dentures are worn during eating to assist in the chewing process if a senior does not have teeth. It is important to clean the dentures after each meal by taking them out and rinsing them in warm water. This removes loose food particles that could otherwise linger in the mouth and encourage bacterial growth.
Clean Dentures Daily
Dentures should not be cleaned with normal toothpaste, which can abrade the surface and cause scratches that could harbor bacteria. Some types of dentures need to be cleaned with a denture paste and soft toothbrush, and others can be cleaned by being soaked in a special solution recommended by the dentist.
Remove Dentures Overnight
This step is particularly important because wearing dentures all day can lead to mouth sores. Removing dentures overnight gives the gums time to rest without being abraded by the dentures. Make sure your loved one cleans the dentures after removing them and soaks them in water or a cleaning solution overnight. This ensures they stay flexible and suction properly in the morning.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one adopt good dental hygiene practices. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Ft. Lauderdale Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Not having teeth does not mean the days of visiting the dentist are over. Seniors still need regular trips to assess oral health and talk with the dentist about concerns they have. Dentures can stop fitting as the shape of the mouth changes, so the dentist may need to make adjustments to help seniors wear their oral prosthetics correctly.
If you are not always available to help your senior loved one maintain his or her dental hygiene and overall health, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. If you’re looking for a comprehensive at-home care plan for your elderly loved one, contact us at (954) 909-0370 today.