When family caregivers take over the daily tasks on behalf of their elderly relatives, it’s usually because their loved one is declining physically and cognitively. Seniors then rely on family caregivers, friends and home care providers to look after them. Many seniors need help with bathing, dressing, grooming and hygiene. Because many elderly adults have full or partial dentures, family caregivers need to know the right way to care for them as well.
If they don’t have experience, caring for dentures can seem overwhelming to family caregivers. However, with a little knowledge, family caregivers can quickly become experts in denture care.
Cleaning Dentures Properly
The biggest mistake family caregivers make is to think they should clean dentures just like natural teeth. However, toothpaste is much too abrasive for dentures, so a gentler cleaner is appropriate. Family caregiver and home care providers can “bush” the dentures with a soft-bristle toothbrush. They just dip the brush into the liquid and scrub gently and thoroughly.
There are many commercial products designed for denture cleaning to help remove stains from things like coffee or tea that family caregivers can also use. Sometimes, the denture adhesive can also be stubborn to remove. If there is ever any doubt about whether a product is appropriate for dentures, the family caregiver can consult with their aging loved one’s dentist.
Storing Dentures Properly
The soft tissues of the mouth need time to recuperate and heal between long periods of wearing dentures. Most dentists recommend that seniors take the dentures out at night for storage. However, dentures should not be exposed to air as it can dry the material out and cause brittleness and cracking.
Instead, dentures need to be stored in a special container or even a glass filled with denture cleaner. Not only does this overnight soaking keep the dentures moist and supple but prevents them from being damaged. They also get a deep cleaning bath to eliminate any germs or bacteria and prevent them from getting into the mouth.
Problems with Dentures
After the first month or so, elderly adults should not have many problems with their dentures fitting comfortably or with any sores in the mouth. If an aging adult complains about denture pain and it’s clear that the tissue is irritated or open, family caregivers need to make an appointment with the dentist. They will take the time to figure out what’s causing the problems and take steps to correct the issue.
While dentures can seem like an inconvenience, they really do boost an elderly person’s quality of life. When they can speak and chew better, plus they like how they look, seniors will enjoy themselves a lot more than if they had damaged or missing natural teeth.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING CAREGIVERS IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.