Do you have an elderly loved one who suffers from dementia? Issues related to health care and wellness can become complicated when it relates to someone who has dementia. One of those issues is dental care, specifically dentures. Here are some ways to help your loved one care for and use dentures even while experiencing dementia.
Start With the Dentist
You will want to be sure that the person you love is seeing the appropriate dental professional. If the person already has a relationship with a dentist, staying with that office may be the right choice because the patient feels most comfortable there. If this is the case, speak to the dentist to make sure that the patient's special needs are understood and considered by everyone involved. The dentist may not realize the extent of the dementia, so it's important to share that information.
If your loved one doesn't have a relationship with a dentist already, choose someone who is experienced in working with elderly patients and patients with special needs.
Be Active in Daily Care
Good oral hygiene is key to keeping dentures safe and useful. Poor oral care can easily result in a build up of plaque.
Be sure that you or another caregiver is helping your loved one with keeping dentures and mouths clean.
The person should also be encouraged to consistently wear the dentures. Lack of use can cause the patient to forget how to wear the dentures, and wearing them again can become uncomfortable.
People with dementia are at a risk of losing their dentures if they remove them often, and replacing a set of lost dentures can be tricky. If your loved one has lost a set of dentures and needs a replacement, be sure to attend the dental visit for support. Ask the dentist to mark the dentures if you are afraid they may become lost, especially if your loved one is spending time with other people who have dentures.
Take Care of Problems Immediately
Broken dentures are a hazard for people with dementia. You and other caregivers should inspect the dentures often to be sure they remain in good condition. Broken dentures can result in painful sores in your loved one's mouth, or the person may actually choke on a piece of the broken dentures.
Take broken dentures to the dentist immediately for repair.
Your loved one should be able to continue to wear dentures in spite of dementia as long as you and other caregivers are involved in good overall oral health for the person. Be vigilant about cleaning and inspecting the person's dentures to create the most positive and successful outcome. For more information or assistance, contact experts at places like City Denture Clinic.