Caretakers for Elderly
You may have a parent, spouse or friend who has difficulty maintaining a healthy
mouth on their own. How can you help? Two things are critical:
Help them keep their mouth clean with reminders to brush and floss daily.
Make sure they get to a dentist regularly.
If they are bedridden,discuss their condition with the dentist and arrange for appropriate
treatment at home or in a hospital.
These steps can prevent many problems, but tasks that once seemed so simple can
become very challenging. If your loved one is having difficulty with brushing and
flossing, talk to a dentist or hygienist who can provide helpful tips or a different
approach. There are dentists who specialize in caring for the elderly and disabled.
For those who wear dentures, pay close attention to their eating habits. If they’re
having difficulty eating or are not eating as much as usual, denture problems could
be the cause.
When you’re caring for someone who is confined to bed, they may have so many health
problems that it’s easy to forget about oral health. However, it’s still very important
because bacteria from the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs and cause pneumonia.
The IDA recommends that you pay special attention to their oral hygiene.