Caregiver Dental Care

A Caregiver’s Guide To Dental Care

There are more than 40 million adult caregivers in the United States today, and one of the many aspects they provide for older seniors is dental care. Basic needs like food, clothing and hygiene are often the main focuses of providing care for the elderly, but we can’t overlook dental health. Today, we’re going to share some tips for caregivers for ensuring the senior in their life gets the dental care they deserve.

Providing Dental Care For Seniors

Dental hygiene can go a long way in providing a sense of independence and self-esteem in senior citizens, and the opposite can be said of a poorly maintained mouth. Whether you’re brushing their teeth for them, making sure they brush their teeth or helping them with their denture care, what you’re doing is important and necessary to their dental and overall health. Here’s a look at some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when caring for someone who may not be able to provide themselves with the best dental care:

  • Regular brushing is still very important, so help ensure they brush in the morning and before bed.
  • Get them to floss. Once a day is fine, oftentimes after the last meal of the day. This will remove food particles that can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
  • Without regular denture cleanings, their mouth can be at an increased risk for irritation, inflammation and infection. Have them walk you through their denture cleaning protocol.
  • Alcohol-free mouthwashes are great cleaning options, especially if your senior is dealing with dry mouth.
  • Limit sugary snacks and sugars, as their teeth and gums are more prone to breakdown and degeneration as they get older.
  • Ensure they both make and keep dental appointments. If they no longer drive, help arrange transportation for them.
  • Keep an eye out for signs of a bigger problem, like mouth sores, bleeding or broken teeth. If you notice any issues, set up an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible.
  • When taking care of a senior patient’s dental needs an electric brush like a sonicare would help greatly.  Not only does it help when brushing their own teeth since many have dexterity issues and it is easier to hold, but it also helps caregivers as well and has a great timer as a reminder as to how long someone is brushing.

It’s not easy to care for someone else’s mouth, but by following these tips, you’ll be ensuring the senior in your life has a good chance at having great dental health. For more information, or if you have questions about anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.