If you have a mom that has dementia and you are not familiar with them, you may not know how to properly care for them. You may also be having a hard time getting your parent to take the dentures out of their mouth on their own. All of this can become very stressful and frustrating. Below is information to help you so you can ensure your parent is well taken care of.
Taking Care of Dentures
First, your parent should remove their dentures before they go to bed. This allows their gum tissues to get a break from wearing their dentures all day. If your parent is not sleeping well, which is common for some dementia patients, try to keep the dentures out for at least approximately six hours.
If the dentures have metal clasps, they need to be soaked in warm water when your parent is not wearing them. If they do not have metal clasps you can soak them in a denture cleanser or a mixture of half water and half vinegar. This is important as soaking the dentures will remove bacteria, as well as tartar, and plaque. It will also keep stains off the dentures.
The dentures are not real teeth, but they still need to be cleaned every day. If you do not and bacteria builds up on the dentures this can cause problems with your parent's gums. For example, their gums can become irritated and infection can build up on them. Purchase a soft-bristled toothbrush. There are also special toothbrushes that are made for dentures. Use dental paste or a mild abrasive toothpaste. You can find these products at drug stores
Inspect your parent's gums on a regular basis to look for any type of redness or other irritation. If you notice these things take your parent to a dentist. The dentures may not fit as well as they once did and need to be changed.
Tips to Get Your Parent to Take Care of Dentures
If your parent is not willing to remove their dentures on their own, you may still be able to get them to do this.
First, if they take a shower and you have them sit in a seat, they may be willing to remove their dentures during the shower. This is because they are cleaning their body, and this may get them to think about cleaning their dentures. Once the dentures are out of their mouth you can then clean them on your own while your parent is showering or bathing.
You may also need to hire a caregiver to help you. You never want to fight with your parent about this as this will cause only more problems. A caregiver understands how to care for people that have dementia and may have more luck getting them to remove their dentures.
Talk with your family dentist about this information and they can help you.