If you are a family caregiver to your aging parent, you will most likely be assisting them with hygiene and grooming. The focus on proper denture care can be overlooked when both of you are in a hurry, are tired, or are just not sure of what to do. When dentures are not properly cared for, they can cause a lot of problems for the elderly, and long-term neglect can affect both their dental health as well as their finances because they will need new ones more frequently. As the person in charge of elderly care, you’ll want to make sure to properly care for their dentures.
Here are 5 denture care mistakes that you should definitely avoid as you help your elderly loved one with dental hygiene.
1. Don’t Drop Dentures
Dentures are fragile and they will definitely break when dropped into the sink or onto the bathroom floor. As you clean them with liquid dish soap and a toothbrush, they can become slippery and that makes it easy for them to slide right out of your hands and hit a hard surface. A denture cleaning tip is to spread out a soft towel or hand towel on the bathroom counter while cleaning dentures. That way, if you lose your grip the dentures will likely be intact.
2. Avoid Cleaning With Toothpaste
While it may seem like common sense to clean dentures with toothpaste, dental experts recommend liquid dish soap instead. Toothpaste has too many abrasive substances within it that are good for teeth but not so good for denture material. Never use household cleaners or bleach on dentures either, as they can cause discoloration and break down the soft pink part of the denture set. However, toothpaste is perfectly fine for your aging loved one to use on the soft tissues of the mouth twice per day.
3. At No Time Should Dentures Dry Out
It may seem harmless to just set dentures on the bathroom counter or on a bedside table when not in use. However, dentures can get distorted and change their shape when allowed to dry out. If the dentures are not in use, they should be stored in their special container in either tepid water or a special denture storage solution recommended by your loved one’s dentist. They’ll need to be kept moist to stay in the best shape.
4. Don’t Adjust or Repair Dentures Yourself
Dentures should always be repaired by a professional, even if part of it looks simple enough to bend back into place. Avoid the temptation to adjust or bend dentures on your own, because doing so can weaken the dentures and make them more likely to break in the future. There are also several repair kits on the market that claim to help people fix broken dentures, but you should stay away from those as well. Leave it to the dentist to perform repairs and fixes for dentures.
5. Never Skip Dental Appointments
Dentist appointments are the best way to make sure that your elderly loved one is getting good dental care and that their oral hygiene is keeping other problems at bay. Regular dental appointments can tell whether their dentures are shifting and no longer fit. They can make adjustments to the dentures, look for gum disease or bacterial infections and keep an eye out for other problems. If transportation is an issue, make arrangements with someone in the elderly care support group that you have helping you care for your aging loved one.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Laurens, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.