Daily dental care for seniors is important to promote continued good health.
There may come a time when you will need to provide mouth care for your family member. There are many things you can do when the time comes and your aging family member needs mouth care. It may feel a bit strange to do this at first, so take your time and go slowly. If your family member becomes upset or does not want your help, respect their wishes. It is important to choose your battles. Call your dentist and ask for advice in this case.
- Stand behind your aging family member to brush and floss their teeth.
- Let them sit in a chair in front of the sink. That way, you can make the same motions you use when you brush and floss your own teeth.
- Use a soft toothbrush. Or, your aging family member may prefer an electric toothbrush.
- Encourage your aging family member to rinse with warm water when you are finished.
How to Care for False Teeth or a Partial Denture:
- Allow your aging family member to tell or show you how to take the false teeth or their “partial plate” out. (When putting teeth back in, put the upper set back first, and then the lower set.)
- Both kinds of false teeth must be cleaned daily.
- When the teeth are out, observe the dentures for cracks. If you find any, Contact the dentist to schedule for repair.
- Fill a container with water.
- Scrub the false teeth or partial denture with a denture brush and soap.
- Rinse with water when you finish cleaning.
- If your family member soaks their false teeth overnight, they may use a special cleaner for false teeth (denture cleanser). Some add warm water and vinegar (half and half). If the denture has metal clasps, use warm water only for soaking.
The Skin Inside the Mouth
- Ask if it is okay to look inside the person’s mouth.
- Check the mouth closely. Look for swelling, red or white patches, parts of the gums that have changed colour.
- If you see any of these things, call the dentist.
- Clean and massage the inside of person’s mouth with a damp cloth or a soft toothbrush.