October 10, 2019
As a San Bernardino mobile dental practice, In Motion Dentists has dedicated it’s practice to elderly dental care, as well as caring for the local special needs population. It’s not only a job for them; it’s a passion they have.
Our dentists has extensive experience working with elderly patients with dementia. They understand that providing care for a loved one with dementia is a ‘round the clock task that requires a special person with a big heart, not to mention the financial ability to leave the workplace to provide care when you need it.
While your loved one with dementia has a variety of medical and social needs, he or she also needs proper, daily oral hygiene. This means brushing teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and if possible, swishing with antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day. But we know just as well as you that this can be easier said than done. Here are 3 oral care tips for dementia caregivers.
1. Always Tell Your Loved One What You’re Going to Do Before You Do It
We all know that those we love with dementia can get confused quickly and easily. In order to avoid any confusion or potential trauma when providing elderly dental care, it’s important that San Bernardino caregivers tell their loved one what steps they’re going to take to clean his or her mouth before doing so. This allows your loved one to get prepared for the oral care about to take place.
For the added comfort of your loved one, narrate what you’re doing as you’re providing oral care. Say things such as, “Now I’m going to brush the back of your top teeth,” to keep the person in your charge fully informed of what’s going to happen, and when.
2. Use the “Watch Me” Technique
If your loved one is able to brush and floss his or her own teeth, that’s great! Many dementia patients feel empowered by being able to perform these types of self-care tasks.
Still, in order to make sure your San Bernardino relative is practicing the best oral health care possible, elderly dental care specialist Dr. Banner of In Motion Dentists recommends you use the “Watch Me” technique.
Before you hand over your relative’s toothbrush so he or she can begin brushing his or her teeth, grab your own toothbrush to visually demonstrate the act of tooth brushing. Again, as you’re modeling the care technique, take time to narrate as well, so the instructions are enforced both visually and audibly.
3. Keep Your Loved One’s Mouth and Teeth As Clean as Possible, Even if You Need to do the Brushing for Him or Her
If your loved one isn’t able to brush and floss his or her own teeth, or if you aren’t able to do a thorough job due to any dental fears he or she may have, do you best to keep your senior’s mouth as clean as possible, even if you need to wipe his or her mouth and teeth with a warm, wet towel.
Elderly dental care is extremely important for your San Bernardino relative’s overall health. Untreated conditions like periodontal disease can lead to further health complications, including heart disease and evens stroke.
Finding a Mobile Dentist Experienced in Elderly Dental Care for Dementia Patients
The Team at In Motion Dentists is extremely experienced and comfortable working with local dementia patients. If your loved one is unable to leave home for routine dental cleanings or is just more comfortable at home, we can travel to you to provide regular cleanings as well as emergency dental care.
To learn more about In Motion Dentists’ dental care options for San Bernardino senior citizens with dementia, call (626) 594-0374.