We all know we’re supposed to brush twice a day, floss between our teeth and have regular check ups with our dentist but for those who aren’t physically or mentally capable of doing these things for themselves, it can be a struggle and poor oral hygiene can have serious repercussions.
When it comes to brushing someone’s teeth, it is important that teeth be brushed with a high fluoride toothpaste just before bed time and one other time, usually in the morning after breakfast and remember, brushing your gums is just as important as brushing your teeth.
It is important (and this was news to me until a few years ago!) NOT to rinse after brushing – rinsing washes the fluoride from the toothpaste away. If you like to use mouthwash, rinse before brushing.
Also decide what type of toothbrush is preferred. Brushing techniques may be improved by simply switching to a different brush head type or from regular to electric.
I’m not a fan of floss (an irrational fear of accidentally cheese-slicing my face off prevents me from using the string), however there are many different types of inter-dental cleaners– ask your dentist.
Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, pain, infections, and in the elderly and vulnerable, even pneumonia. It may also not be possible for some people to communicate their dental discomfort so always be sure to check and remember that dentures should be treated and cleaned as thoroughly as teeth.
Written by Tori Gray and first published in Beach Hut magazine
Kingmount Residential Home is a friendly, welcoming care home in Paignton offering residential and respite care for older people. Feel free to call in anytime for a look around and find out how we could support you. To arrange a personal guided tour please call us on 01803 500719 or click here to email us.