Geriatric Dentists in New York: Take the Stress Out of Home Oral Care

As the primary caregiver to an elderly loved one, we understand that your days can be filled with confusion, anxiety and stress. Simple activities suddenly can become an hour long ordeal, leaving you frustrated and out of options.  While we can’t make every stress better, let us help you with at least a few.  

Here are some simple tips for taking care of your loved one’s oral health from some of the best geriatric dentists in New York.

Daily Tooth Brushing

Even if your loved one is part edentulous, according to New York geriatric dentists, remaining teeth must still receive proper care.  If able, encourage your patient to attempt brushing on their own.  Provide simple changes to the toothbrush to make it easier.  

  • Use a velcro strap that is also used for holding eating utensils.  This can double as a helpful way to allow your loved one to brush on their own.
  • Cut a small slit into the top of a tennis ball and slide the toothbrush into the slit.  This provides a large grip for easier brushing.  And it may even bring a smile!  
  • Make the handle larger by sliding a bicycle grip onto the handle or attaching foam tubing, available from home health care catalogs.
  • A power toothbrush usually sports a larger handle and may prove easier as most of the movement is done for the individual.

If your loved one is unable to brush on her own, here are some tips to make the process easier for you:  

  • Establish routine.  Elderly benefit from routines.  Establish the time of day, place and method with which you brush their teeth and stick to it. You will experience a smoother process.    
  • Choose the right location.  Brushing doesn’t have to be done in the bathroom. In a comfy chair or even propped up in bed, your patient may be the happiest and most cooperative.
  • Make sure there is plenty of light.  If you cannot see into the patient’s mouth, you will be unable to tell if you are reaching the right surfaces and can potentially hurt the sides or roof of the mouth.
  • Position yourself correctly.  Make sure you can see all the surfaces of the teeth.
  • Use proper tools. Make sure the brush you use, whether manual or powered is a soft bristle brush.  Elderly people are much more sensitive to textures and punctures.  A hard bristle brush will only cause more stress.  
  • Toothpaste amount.  Make sure that you only use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Many elderly have trouble swallowing and spitting.  Too much toothpaste may aggravate swallowing difficulties.  
  • Be gentle.  Brush all surfaces of the teeth, but make sure you use gentle back and forth strokes.  Gently brush the tongue after you have brushed the teeth.  
  • Rinse after.  Help your patient rinse with water afterwards.  If he is unable to rinse himself, wrap your finger in gauze and gently wipe the mouth out.
  • Replace the brush.  Make sure you purchase a new soft-bristled toothbrush every 3 months, after a contagious illness, or when the bristles are worn.

For more helpful tips from one of the best geriatric dentists in New York, call Geriatric House Call Dentistry at 917-826-6278.

 

Related Tags: Geriatric Dentists In New York | Dentists For Elderly In New York