Many elders struggle to keep up with basic hygiene including brushing their teeth, and if you take care of an elder -- either professionally or personally -- you know how challenging it can be to help them. However, there are ways to make oral care easier for elders. Here is a look at five surprising items that may help:
1. A mixing bowl
If you take care of an elder who struggles to stand comfortably or easily, keep in mind that you don't have to brush their teeth while they stand next to the bathroom sink. Instead, help them find a comfortable chair or even consider letting them sit up in bed.
Then, grab a small mixing bowl for spitting toothpaste and water into. With a bowl and a glass of water, you can brush an elder's teeth anywhere.
2. A bib
To prevent drooling toothpaste onto an elder's clothing while brushing, use a bib. This offers a bit of extra protection whether you are doing the brushing or the elder is able to brush on his or her own. You can make your own adult-sized bib with a tea towel or hand towel attached to a bit of elastic.
3. Roll of gauze
Many elders have trouble swallowing and manipulating their mouth muscles, and that can also make it hard for them to rinse. If you take care of a senior who finds it hard to swish and spit water or who has to brush with very little waster due to swallowing issues, consider wrapping your finger in a bit of gauze and sweeping their mouth.
That dry approach helps to remove the excess debris that is typically removed by rinsing.
If you are not already brushing the elder's teeth, you want to focus on providing them with aids that can help them brush their teeth on their own for as long as possible. Rubber bands can work admirably in this regard. You can take a rubber band and wrap it around a toothbrush so that the elder can use it without having to grip it.
5. Tennis ball
Rubber bands work great for some elders who struggle with manual dexterity, but they don't work for everyone. If you take care of an elder who can make a fist but not a tight one, consider buying a toothbrush with a wide handle. Alternatively, cut a slit in a tennis ball and slot the toothbrush into that. You instantly get a large handled toothbrush that is easy to hold.
To learn more, contact a dental clinic with any questions or concerns you have about dental tooth health.
You may have heard that cavities and oral decay are linked to things like heart disease, and, in fact, your oral health affects your entire body. Hi! My name is Brenda, and I like to look at things holistically. Because of that, I created this blog. I plan for its posts to look at the link between dental issues and other health issues. I hope that the people who visit this blog learn a few tips about oral care as well as gaining a deeper understanding of why it's so important. Healthy smiles indicate a healthy body, and I hope this blog helps you achieve both!