How to brush dementia person's teeth?

Travis95

Registered User
Aug 1, 2019
42
0
Hi guys,

I am caring for my mom (60 years old). She is in year 7 of her Alzhiemer's Disease.

Her condition had been deteriorating super quickly over the last few months. Some sort of bad luck struck, it was stable over the year, and then suddenly just deteriorates so quickly.

We got her a personal caretaker already, however we are still struggling to brush her teeth daily.
We tried keeping her calm, or brushing infront of her, yet she doesn't do it.
Her case isnt quite she refuses, more of she is confused what to do even if we show her.
We tried to brush it for her, but she rejects it, just dodging it all the way.

I know there are many solutions online saying to keep her calm, give her children's toothbrush, stay positive... etc etc
However none of those work. I don't want to give her mouth wash, because she will probably think it is a drink and swallow it.

Does anyone have any suggestion what we can do about it?
We can't just ignore her because she will get infections if left unattended.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
29,914
0
Bury
My dentist advised using a toothpaste containing fluoride, leave some paste at the gumline and don't rinse.
 

Travis95

Registered User
Aug 1, 2019
42
0
My dentist advised using a toothpaste containing fluoride, leave some paste at the gumline and don't rinse.
Hey nitram, can I know how does this work?

Is it like just leave the toothpaste in her mouth, don't bother brushing it?
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
29,914
0
Bury
Hey nitram, can I know how does this work?

Is it like just leave the toothpaste in her mouth, don't bother brushing it?
Brush as much as you can, try and leave some paste between teeth and along gumline, helps prevent decay.
 

Travis95

Registered User
Aug 1, 2019
42
0
I would think even if you can rub a bit in with a tissue it would help.
Yeah I suppose this is still better than doing absolutely nothing. However I am trying to find any solutions to deal with this problem.
Are there any special tools built for the disabled?
 

nita

Registered User
Dec 30, 2011
2,646
0
Essex
Is this a special kind of toothpaste, or any regular ones will do?
Any fluoride toothpaste. My dentist recommends Oral B.
Yeah I suppose this is still better than doing absolutely nothing. However I am trying to find any solutions to deal with this problem.
Are there any special tools built for the disabled?

Google - toothbrushing for dementia and see what comes up.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
4,570
0
Hello @Travis95 Is the problem that your mum keeps closing her mouth when you are trying to brush her teeth? When mum visited the community dentist a few years ago they suggested a 'finger guard' and provided one for the care home staff to ensure that they brushed mum's teeth regularly. It was the same type as in the link below, probably available via other stockists too:

 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
29,914
0
Bury
Fluoride does work.
A couple of years ago I had a large root filling and crown giving a problem.
X ray showed a small void near a root, as redoing the root filling was not thought to be possible, it would be a surgical extraction unless I would like to try remineralisation.
What's that?
Applying 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste twice a day, it's not an instant solution.
OK, I'll try it.
She prescribed 3X51g tubes.
In 6 months pain had gone, X ray clear and I still had 2 tubes left, she prescribed another 3 tubes in case it came back.
I still have 4 and a bit tubes left, every now and again I apply a midge.
Normal fluoride toothpaste is ~1450ppm, higher strength are not OTC
 

Travis95

Registered User
Aug 1, 2019
42
0
Fluoride does work.
A couple of years ago I had a large root filling and crown giving a problem.
X ray showed a small void near a root, as redoing the root filling was not thought to be possible, it would be a surgical extraction unless I would like to try remineralisation.
What's that?
Applying 5000ppm fluoride toothpaste twice a day, it's not an instant solution.
OK, I'll try it.
She prescribed 3X51g tubes.
In 6 months pain had gone, X ray clear and I still had 2 tubes left, she prescribed another 3 tubes in case it came back.
I still have 4 and a bit tubes left, every now and again I apply a midge.
Normal fluoride toothpaste is ~1450ppm, higher strength are not OTC
That sounds great, is it just rubbing some toothpaste around her teeth/gum and let it sit there?
 

Travis95

Registered User
Aug 1, 2019
42
0
Hello @Travis95 Is the problem that your mum keeps closing her mouth when you are trying to brush her teeth? When mum visited the community dentist a few years ago they suggested a 'finger guard' and provided one for the care home staff to ensure that they brushed mum's teeth regularly. It was the same type as in the link below, probably available via other stockists too:

sounds a bit odd, but if you are brave , one of these might be worth try,better stil if PWD will provide the finger https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toothbrush...cphy=9046151&hvtargid=pla-1870462949912&psc=1
Hey Louise & Jessbow,
thank you for the suggestion.

However the problem is she doesn't want anyone to touch her mouth, she will just dodge everything that comes in the way.
Do you have any workaround for this?
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
4,238
0
Victoria, Australia
Hey Louise & Jessbow,
thank you for the suggestion.

However the problem is she doesn't want anyone to touch her mouth, she will just dodge everything that comes in the way.
Do you have any workaround for this?
Have you tried a water pick? It wouldn’t be the same as brushing but if she tolerates it, it is better than nothing.
 

Neveradullday!

Registered User
Oct 12, 2022
3,227
0
England
sounds a bit odd, but if you are brave , one of these might be worth try,better stil if PWD will provide the finger https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toothbrush...cphy=9046151&hvtargid=pla-1870462949912&psc=1
I know this is off on a slight tangent (apologies @Travis95) but my mum has dentures, but now quite often (never done this before) gets toothpaste on her finger and rubs her teeth with that. This is usually a cue for me to ask if she wants to remove them so I can clean.

One other thought, to get a PWD to clean their teeth every single day may be a bit optimistic.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
4,570
0
Hello @Travis95 Has your mom been seen by a dentist recently? If she doesn't want anyone to touch her mouth it may because she is in pain or discomfort from her teeth or gums, or possibly has oral thrush, so a dental check up might be helpful. I think from your previous posts your mom lives in Malaysia? In the UK we have what is called a community dentist service for people with special needs like advanced dementia but your mom's doctor should hopefully be able to advise the process for getting your mom's mouth checked by a dentist in her area.
 

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