Dentures can be a wonderful thing for a senior whose natural teeth have failed. They can improve self-esteem and make eating easier and even enjoyable again. However, dentures can come with problems, too. When a senior is receiving home care, it is up to caregivers to help the senior maintain good oral health even with dentures. But, do you know how to identify problems with dentures or how to care for dentures? These subjects are often completely foreign to family caregivers who still have all of their natural teeth.
When dentures dont fit properly or when they are not cared for, several problems can occur. Some denture problems a senior may encounter are:
- Difficulty eating.
- Trouble speaking.
- Irritated gums and mouth.
- Problems with dentures moving.
Denture problems can lead to poor eating habits because they make chewing harder and may cause pain. Seniors may opt for foods that are easier to chew, which means they may not eat fresh fruits and vegetables or meat that are more difficult to chew. As a result, they miss out on important nutrients.
Dentures that fit well when they were first received may become ill-fitting later because of changes to bone structure and gums. When this happens, its important for seniors to see the dentist about having the dentures refitted or replaced. Seniors and caregivers should not try to fix or adjust dentures themselves.
Caring for Dentures
Caring for dentures is important for keeping them looking and working their best. Your seniors dentist can provide you with more information specific to the type of dentures the senior has, since care instructions can vary by manufacturer. Here are some tips for assisting a senior to care for their dentures:
- Dentures should be removed and rinsed after eating. This will remove food particles that could irritate gums. Placing a towel on the counter or in the sink will prevent breaking if the dentures are dropped.
- Brush dentures daily. Soak the seniors dentures each day and brush them before the senior puts them back in their mouth. Use a non-abrasive dental cleanser and be sure to clean the grooves that fit against the gums to remove any leftover adhesive.
- Dentures should be soaked overnight. Each night, the seniors dentures should be soaked at night to remove bacteria. Some types of dentures need to remain moist to retain their shape. Before the senior puts the dentures back in, make sure they are thoroughly rinsed as denture soaking solutions can be harmful if ingested.
- Clean the seniors mouth when dentures are removed. The gums, tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth should be cleaned to remove bacteria and prevent infection. Use a soft-bristled brush or gauze.
Hiring a home care provider can help family caregivers to keep up with the tasks of properly caring for a seniors dentures. Home care providers can also watch for signs of problems with dentures that impact the seniors eating habits.
If you or an aging family member are considering hiring home care in Islip, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.