As a caregiver for those with Dementia, your number 1 priority it to make sure that they are happy and healthy. As you already know, this can be a hard goal to attain – that’s why I am here to help get you through.
Performing oral care for dementia patients can pose to be a challenge, but with these 3 tips I provide, I promise it will help ease the everyday hustle and bustle of trying to keep their mouths clean so they can have a better quality of life.
Dementia Caregiver Tips
- Don’t Be Afraid of Bleeding Gums – Many times I see caregivers not continue to brush their patient’s teeth because of bleeding gums. Bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease and improper brushing and flossing. Continue to brush their teeth (and do not trade out a toothbrush for a sponge) at an angle. Be sure the bristles are massaging below the gum line and against the teeth.
- Be Aware of Ulcers and Damage Inside the Mouth – Dementia patients are highly likely to develop ulcers or trauma on their lips or cheeks. . As soon as you discover ulcers that won’t heal, or hear grinding of teeth from your patient, please be sure to contact your patient’s dentist as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
- Always Know Where the Dentures Are – If you’re patient wears full dentures or partial dentures, always be aware of where they are. A lot of times patients with dementia flush them down the toilet. It is also especially important to know that if your patient needs to be driven to the hospital via ambulance, ambulances are not responsible for any lost or damaged dentures.Be sure you are the one taking out the dentures and putting them in a safe place. It’s almost important to be sure to remove your patients dentures every night as it will cause tissue overgrowth (also known as hyperplasia of the tissues).