When caring for a loved one with dementia, you can face a myriad of problems. One of those is ensuring that his or her dental health is up to par. Depending on the stage of your loved one's dementia, this could prove to be a big challenge.
As dementia progresses, your loved one might struggle to perform daily dental hygiene. Merely instructing your loved one to brush and floss is not enough. You might need to get more involved.
When talking to your loved one, it is important that you stick to short instructions. Try acting out what you want him or her to do. Encourage your loved one to mimic your actions.
Some of the medications that your loved one has to take to help slow the progress of his or her symptoms can contain agents that are harmful to teeth. It is imperative that you make sure your loved one is brushing thoroughly at night before going to bed. If necessary, brush his or her teeth yourself.
Dentures require care that your loved one might not be up to providing in his or her condition. It is up to you to ensure that the dentures are removed on a daily basis and cleaned. At night time, remove the dentures and place them in an overnight solution.
Removing the dentures at night is important. It helps to ensure that potentially harmful bacteria is removed from the dental appliance. It also helps to eliminate the chance that your loved one chokes on them while sleeping. Although it is rare, it is possible. You may want to go with them to visit a denturist like Community Denture Centre to get more advice about how to help them care for their dentures.
Due to the ups and downs of dementia, going to the dentist could potentially be an adventure. To limit the possibility that your loved one will have a bad experience at the dentist, find one who is experienced in working with people with dementia.
You also need to ensure that the dentist is aware of all the medications that your loved one is taken. Talk to your loved one's primary care physician and dentist to encourage communications between both professionals. The more in sync they are with each other, the more likely it is that potential problems, such as drug interactions, will be avoided.
As your loved one's condition progresses, it might be more difficult to make it to dental visits. Discuss challenges to making it with your dentist. He or she might have solutions that can make the experience easier for you and your loved one.