The best way to avoid cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss as an older adult is through proper oral care. Brushing and flossing your teeth each day is essential, but it’s also challenging for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Your dad keeps forgetting to brush his teeth, and flossing is beyond him now. His last visit to the dentist alerted you to the issues he’s having with plaque removal and proper hygiene. You need to start helping him brush and floss his teeth, but you have no idea how to get started. These tips will make it easier to take on this new task.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
If you’re going to help your dad brush his teeth, make it easier on yourself by getting an electric toothbrush. One with soft bristles is less likely to be abrasive on his gums and tooth enamel. You don’t have to go with an electric toothbrush but a product like Oral-B or Sonicare provides you with a wider handle to hold and keeps your hands away from your dad’s mouth.
Instead of trying to floss his teeth, use a water flosser. It’s easier to clean between the teeth using the blast of water, and it keeps your fingers out of his mouth.
Consider the toothpaste you use. Your dad may start swallowing his toothpaste. Look for products that won’t harm him if he swallows them. Children’s toothpaste is a good idea.
Establish a Routine
Establish a daily routine. Your dad will appreciate a routine more than random “let’s do this now” moments. Make it a habit to brush his teeth after breakfast and before bed. Don’t stray from that routine if possible. Play music or sing to your dad while you brush his teeth. That distraction is often enough for your dad to cooperate and let you get his teeth brushed and flossed.
Every six months, your dad goes to his dentist. Make sure he remains accustomed to this schedule. If you stop taking him, he’s going to become more resistant.
Don’t Fight Him
If your dad isn’t cooperative, don’t fight or argue. That negative experience may stick in his mind and make it harder next time. If he’s especially argumentative, keep a supply of toothpaste tablets on hand. They’re designed for people with dementia and clean the teeth as you chew the mint tablet.
Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks
Keep sugary foods and beverages to a minimum. If your dad has something sugary, offer him water to rinse away the particles as much as possible after he’s done eating.
If you still struggle to keep up with your dad’s oral care, arrange personal care at home services. With personal care at home aides helping out, you’re able to shift your focus to other aspects of your dad’s care, such as meals or housekeeping. Learn more about oral care services by talking to a home care advisor.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Personal Care at Home in Tolleson, AZ please contact the caring staff at Blessings! for Seniors Companion Care today. Call (623) 594-0819
Blessings! for Seniors Companion Care, is a top provider of home care services in Goodyear, Avondale, Buckeye, Glendale, Peoria, Litchfield Park, Sun City, Sun City West, Tolleson, Phoenix, Youngtown, Surprise and surrounding areas.
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