Dental care can become increasingly challenging for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease as their condition progresses. They may forget how to brush their teeth or are uncooperative about doing so. When that’s the case, there are several best practices you can follow to encourage dental health as a caregiver or loved one. Read on for our handy guide to dental care for Alzheimer’s disease.
Give Clear, Specific Instructions
Instead of telling your loved one “Brush your teeth”, give them specific instructions such as, “Pick up your toothbrush” and “Put it in your mouth”. As your loved one’s condition progresses, they may forget how they are supposed to brush their teeth, and giving them clear instructions can go a long way.
Consider the Choice of Brush
Instead of a regular adult’s brush, you may want to consider swapping it out for a children’s brush, especially if you have to physically help your loved one brush their teeth. Because children’s toothbrushes tend to be smaller, this will enable you to reach the gaps in your loved one’s mouth more easily. If your loved one doesn’t do well with flossing, consider using an interdental brush instead.
Work Closely with Dentists
It’s important to work closely with your loved one’s dentist to promote the highest level of oral hygiene. You may wish to leave the contact information of caregivers and family members who are involved with your loved one’s care with your dentist. If necessary, provide their dentist with a list of medication your loved one is taking as certain types of drugs can cause oral issues or dry mouth syndrome.
Care for Dentures
If your loved one wears dentures, remember to clean them after each meal. This can be done by brushing them as you would your teeth, as well as soaking them in mouthwash. After each meal, soaking in plain water will suffice, but dentures have to be brushed at least once a day to remove any food particles and ensure that the gums are clean.
Watch Out for Any Pain
Does your loved one seem to be experiencing more difficulty chewing or swallowing than usual? If so, you may want to check for any mouth pain or oral issues they may be going through and seek help from your dentist.
Discovery Commons At Bradenton is Your Top Choice for Memory Care
Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease can prove challenging in the long run, especially if you lack the proper knowledge and experience. When you consider Discovery Commons At Bradenton as your partner in care, you can rest assured that your loved one will be well taken care of in our memory care community. With specialized Alzheimer’s care and a customized care plan that takes into account their individual abilities, you can expect all aspects of your loved one’s wellbeing to improve, and the best part is that we will keep you in the loop at all times.