Helping Seniors Care for Dentures

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

June 29, 2017

Caregiver in Beaver PA: Helping Seniors Care for Dentures
Caregiver in Beaver PA: Helping Seniors Care for Dentures

With age, our natural teeth begin to fail us so many elderly people turn to full or partial dentures to retain normal activities like chewing and speaking. There’s no doubt that dentures are a great solution for many seniors who have problems with their teeth. However, dentures are not permanent and need to be cared for properly so they will last for a long time and not cause more problems than they solve. Family caregivers may not be familiar with the ins and outs of denture care, so in order to help elderly loved ones, they need a quick lesson in what to do.
Dentures Must Fit.
Family caregivers need to know that dentures should fit properly into their loved one’s mouth so they don’t cause irritation and so they don’t hinder their speech or eating. Improperly fitting dentures can slide around, click when talking and cause mouth sores and ulcers. Only a dentist can truly tell whether or not dentures are a good fit, so it’s important for seniors to attend regular checkups. Even if dentures have fit well in the past, the mouth can shift and change over the years, requiring adjustments.
If dentures don’t fit well, it could cause all kinds of problems for seniors. The most serious is mouth sores, which could become infected. Some seniors refuse to eat food that affects their dentures, such as chewy meat or crunchy vegetables. Avoiding certain healthy foods can trigger malnutrition in the elderly so a good fit is critical for health.
Caring for Dentures.
Family caregivers should make denture care part of the hygiene and grooming routine for their aging loved ones. Dentures need to be cleaned each day with a toothbrush and rinsed off in cool water. Instead of toothpaste or typical cleanser, use liquid dishwashing liquid or special denture cleaner. Never use bleach on dentures, either. Dentures can break easily if dropped so it’s a good idea to do this over a soft towel on the countertop.
Dentures should never be dried out, so when they are not in use (such as when your aging loved one is sleeping), store them in their container in water. Seniors should spend several hours without their dentures so their mouth tissues have time to rest from contact with denture adhesive.
Oral Hygiene for Seniors.
Just because your aging loved one wears dentures doesn’t mean they can ignore their oral health and wellness. The gums, tongue, cheeks and any natural teeth remaining should still be brushed with toothpaste. This eliminates food particles, plaque, bacteria and fungus that can develop due to dentures. A healthy mouth will work better with dentures and seniors will be able to resume all the activities they need to without a second thought. Of course, regular dental visits are a wonderful way to keep an eye out for any negative developments such as gum disease or oral cancer.
When you learn the proper care and treatment of your aging loved one’s dentures, you’ll be happy to see how they feel confident and pleased with their looks and abilities. Since good oral hygiene contributes to an overall healthy body, proper denture care has a big impact on how your elderly loved one feels.

If you or an aging loved one are considering  caregiver services in Beaver, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551