Provide Short, Simple Instructions
The phrase "brush your teeth" may be too difficult, so instead try:
Look for indications of oral discomfort such as red or white oral sores, bleeding gums, broken teeth or fillings, grimacing facial expressions during meal time, or refusal to eat.
Oral Care for Individuals with Teeth:
Teeth should be brushed after each meal with a fluoridated toothpaste, and flossed daily. There are many oral hygiene aids and fluoride supplements which can be obtained from a dentist to help facilitate optimal oral health.
Oral Care for Individuals with Dentures:
After each meal, dentures and partial dentures should be removed and brushed clean. Each night they should be removed, cleaned, and stored in a cup of water. Brush the gums and roof of the mouth after removal of the dentures. Dentures should be labeled with the person's name so as to avoid misplacement.
Use a Mouth Prop
If the person refuses to open, a mouth prop can aid in gaining access to the oral cavity, as well as prevent fingers from being accidentally bitten.
We recommend the Open Wide mouth props from www.specializedcare.com
Individuals with Alzheimer's disease should be seen every 3-4 months by a dentist. Inform the person's dentist of the diagnosis prior to the visit, so an oral care routine can be developed and proper oral hygiene aids can be distributed. It is also helpful to keep the dentist updated on the patient’s other medical problems and any medications (prescription and non-prescription) the patient is taking.
Michigan Geriatric Dental Care
H E A L T H Y S M I L E S F O R A L I F E T I M E
M A R Y F I S H E R, D D S & A N D R E A H I S L O P, D D S
Use a Mirroring Technique
Hold a toothbrush and show the individual how to brush his or her teeth.
Good oral hygiene be a challenge for individuals with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Brushing can be difficult due to the person's inability to understand and their resistance to assistance from others.