Oral care often receives insufficient attention in elderly care. But why is that? And how can you ensure that oral care for the elderly in, for example, a care institution is implemented in a good way and better?
According to the dentists at skydentalaz, about eight out of ten elderly people in a nursing home have poor oral health due to too little or the wrong oral care. As you get older, a lot can change in the mouth. Think of tooth decay, inflammation of the gums and jawbone, or disorders of the mucous membranes due to, for example, diseases or medication. That is precisely why one must get the right oral care. Approximately three-quarters of the elderly in the Netherlands, over the age of 65, wear a full or partial denture (dentures). It is very important that you continue to go to the dentist with a denture and that you get the right oral care, but this is often forgotten. We would like to share several tips for oral care for the elderly.
It is important to brush your teeth twice a day. If you have a denture, you can also brush once a day if there is no other way and rinse the teeth with water after each meal. Use a special prosthesis/denture brush for your teeth. If someone can no longer brush their teeth properly, a caregiver, informal caregiver, or home care can help. Do not brush too hard and do not forget to take the gums with you to prevent inflammation of the gums. In elderly people with an increased risk of tooth decay, the use of mouthwash once a day may be recommended, only on the advice of the dentist or dental hygienist.
It is often thought that brushing your teeth with a hard toothbrush provides cleaner teeth. However, this is a fable, it is counterproductive. With a soft toothbrush, you clean the teeth better. In addition, the tooth enamel remains better intact. Preferably use an electric toothbrush, an electric toothbrush removes more plaque than manual toothbrushes. In addition, this is easier to use for the elderly, you do not have to move your hands much. Please note; that elderly people who live in a PG department may experience the vibrations as unpleasant.
A set of teeth in a glass of water, we’ve all seen it I think? But unfortunately, this is not the right way to store your dentures. Dentures should be stored dry and in a sealed container. In the water, bacteria and fungi attach themselves to the denture. That is precisely what we want to prevent.
The advice is to go to the dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year for a check-up. This also applies to people with dentures, who are advised to visit the dentist at least once a year. This way, oral diseases can be detected early, it is better to prevent than to cure! Is it not possible to visit a dentist due to physical circumstances? Some dentists can come by on location.
With these tips for oral care for the elderly, we ensure that oral care receives more attention in elderly care. For example, we can improve oral care for elderly people who still live at home or in a care institution.