Tips For Caregivers on Oral Health

Q: I’m caring for an elderly, infirm parent.  Any tips for me on their dental care?

A: Here is how to brush someone else’s teeth: Make sure the lighting is good in the room you choose, it does not need to be a bathroom.  Wherever your parent feels comfortable is the right place.  Wash your hands and put on sanitary, disposable gloves.  Stand or sit so that you have a good view of all of the teeth.  Put only a small amount of toothpaste on the brush.  Brush all surfaces of each tooth and angle the brush.  Brush gently at the gum line (this is an area that is particularly susceptible to decay in this type of patient) front and back.  Gently brush the tongue after you’ve done the teeth.  Help them to rinse with plain water. 

Consider, with your parent’s consent, of course, whether a power toothbrush might make the work easier and more efficient.  Arrange for a professional checkup at least twice a year, Chips Dental Associates is happy to make arrangements for these patients in either of our offices.  You can also speak with us about making special arrangements for having a home-bound relative seen. 

As a Chips Dental Associates patient, you have access to our preventive program for adult patients.  This involves regular applications of a highly concentrated topical fluoride varnish that has been shown to reduce the rate of decay.  Many times cavities found in this aging population can be managed with a fluoride releasing material that will also reduce the rate of decay.  The doctors at Chips Dental Associates have special training in the use of these and other modalities of treatment specifically targeted at this segment of the population. 

Brought to you as a community service by Chips Dental Associates, LLC.

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