It’s common knowledge that many older people, due to various reasons, lose their natural teeth and get dentures. However, if you are new to family caregiving, you may not know very much about how to take care of dentures or how to help your aging mom or dad in the first few weeks of having new dentures.
Denture Care is Important.
Elderly adults that rely on a family caregiver or elder care provider already depend on others for their daily needs. Usually seniors in this situation are struggling with physical or cognitive challenges that prevent them from living independently. You and the elder care provider likely help with bathing, dressing, and grooming. Part of the grooming and hygiene should include thorough care for your mom or dad’s mouth along with proper denture care.
Improper care and cleaning of dentures can result in numerous oral health issues, which can make your aging mom or dad more uncomfortable or even cause them to develop an infection. Without the right kind of care and handling, the dentures can also degrade, making it harder for seniors to eat or speak properly. Anyone who takes care of your elderly parent—family members, friends, and elder care providers—should be on the same page about your mom or dad’s new dentures.
Tips on Denture Care.
New dentures come with a learning curve that everyone needs to understand. The most common issue with dentures is not cleaning them properly. They should be brushed daily, just like teeth. You or the elder care provider should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and water and a special denture cleaner to get debris and bacteria off the dentures. Don’t ever use toothpaste on dentures as it is too abrasive and will contribute to degradation.
One of the worst things that you can do to dentures is allow them to dry out when not being worn. At night, for example, they should be stored in a denture case or cup filled with denture cleaner. If they are not kept moist, the dentures can dry out and even crack. If an elder care provider helps your mom or dad get ready for bed each night, make sure their nightly duties include proper denture storage.
Denture care isn’t limited to cleaning and storage. There are certain types of food that seniors should avoid when wearing dentures. Elder care providers that prepare meals for your elderly mom or dad will probably already know what food to avoid because of their training. Seniors should avoid sticky food, hard and crunchy food, and any liquid that is too hot.
If your aging mom or dad has new dentures, it can seem overwhelming for both of you about how to take care of them properly and what food restrictions they may require. You can always consult with your loved one’s dentist if you have any questions. Likewise, many elder care providers are well-trained on how to care for dentures and would be happy to teach you both. Keeping dentures clean and the mouth healthy will result in a happier and healthier elderly parent.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Stockton, CA, contact the caring staff at Provident Home Care. Call today (877) 572-3411.
Robin Conley RN., Owner and CEO of Provident Care Home Care Providing HOME CARE- ASSISTED LIVING PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE
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