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Teeth cleaning

Kenbob

Registered User
Jan 11, 2019
21
I’ve been trying for ages to help my wife with moderate Alzheimer’s to clean her teeth as her breath is not good, I’ve tried a baby toothbrush but when I try to do it for her she just closes her mouth tightly, she has all her own teeth which are good, any suggestions would be welcome. Many thanks.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,332
Merseyside
There are some good tips on this thread @Kenbob
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
561
I’ve been trying for ages to help my wife with moderate Alzheimer’s to clean her teeth as her breath is not good, I’ve tried a baby toothbrush but when I try to do it for her she just closes her mouth tightly, she has all her own teeth which are good, any suggestions would be welcome. Many thanks.
My partner uses one of the vibrating toothbrushes, don't know if that would work for you wife?
 

NotTooLate

Registered User
Jun 10, 2017
301
Alvechurch
toolate.blog
Hi @Kenbob

You say your wife has moderate Alziheimer's, does that mean she cannot clean her own teeth? I hope I have not offended you in anyway? I'm just unsure. I have dementia, but I try and do as much as I can. I think I would be reluctant to have any one try and clean my teeth! You probably have already tried and that is why you are at this point already.

All the best
Richard
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
190
Have you tried putting the toothbrush in your wife's hand and then guiding her hand gently with yours, so that she feels she is doing it herself? If you are trying to actually brush her teeth yourself, she may be quite alarmed. None of us would like someone else putting a toothbrush in our mouths. I'm a bit concerned that a vibrating toothbrush would be frightening for her.
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
561
I don't know where my partner is on the Dementia scale but I think in stage 6 of the 7 often given. He brushes his own teeth but I put the toothpaste on the brush for him and give him water in a glass to rinse with. He's always used a vibrating brush so it's normal for him. He does tend to get more toothpaste around the sink, his fingers and the brush than goes in his mouth but he seems to brush quite thoroughly. I wonder if a mouth wash might help @Kenbob. Also bad breath sometimes means a visit too the dentist is required but that's a trial in itself.
 

PalSal

Registered User
Dec 4, 2011
836
Pratteln Switzerland
I’ve been trying for ages to help my wife with moderate Alzheimer’s to clean her teeth as her breath is not good, I’ve tried a baby toothbrush but when I try to do it for her she just closes her mouth tightly, she has all her own teeth which are good, any suggestions would be welcome. Many thanks.
I watched a video from Phoebe Snow and training nursing home staff.. What she did was she held the toothbrush and then she put the patient's hand on her own hand which was guiding it the patient. the patient opened her mouth easily and allowed the help. Perhaps worth a try.
I see Lemonbalm also suggested this.
 

Jan L

Registered User
Mar 26, 2020
15
I don't know where my partner is on the Dementia scale but I think in stage 6 of the 7 often given. He brushes his own teeth but I put the toothpaste on the brush for him and give him water in a glass to rinse with. He's always used a vibrating brush so it's normal for him. He does tend to get more toothpaste around the sink, his fingers and the brush than goes in his mouth but he seems to brush quite thoroughly. I wonder if a mouth wash might help @Kenbob. Also bad breath sometimes means a visit too the dentist is required but that's a trial in itself.
Hi, the Dentist told me a couple of years ago that my Husband was not brushing the backsof his teeth, up until that point he had taken care of his own teeth with manual toothbrushes. I purchased a battery operated toothbrush, he couldn't get used to it and didn't understand when I told him to do the back of his teeth, he prefers to interpret this as his back teeth, so I now clean his teeth with the battery toothbrush. I can't pretend he likes me doing it, but I manage. He is unable to move his tongue when I ask him, particularly on the one side of his mouth to enable me to do the backs and back teeth, but keeps pushing on the toothbrush with his tongue and doesn't understand what I mean when I ask him to lift it or move it to the other side of his mouth. When we go to bed at night I let me do it himself with his manual toothbrush, I just can't face the tussle with the battery operated brush when I am tired and wanting to go to bed. You can only do your best.