Four Things That Can Help Someone Who Has Dentures and Dementia
If you are taking care of a loved one with dementia, there are a number of challenges you have to meet on a daily basis, and if your loved one has dentures, you have to help him or her take care of them. There are several things that can help. Depending on your situation, you may want to check out the following four tips:
When someone has dementia, he or she may forget his or her dentures any time the dentures are out of his or her mouth. If the dentures become permanently lost, you may have to replace them, which can be expensive. In other cases, if your loved one goes for too long without his or her dentures, he or she may lose the ability to wear the dentures as his or her mouth gets used to being without them. That can degrade your loved one's ability to chew, pronounce certain words and so on.
However, a label can help prevent lost dentures. In some cases, you can engrave your loved one's name or initials into the tissue surface of the dentures so they can be returned if lost. Or you can talk with your loved one's denture clinic about embossing the name into the wax portion of the dentures.
Written reminders can help someone who is in the early stages dementia remember to do things. To remind your loved one to take out his or her dentures and soak them at the end of the day, create some notes or set an alarm. As your loved one's dementia gets more advanced, you may have to be there personally to remind and help him or her with the dentures every day.
3. Artificial saliva
Unfortunately, if your loved one is taking medications for alzheimer's or dementia, they may be dealing with dry mouth. Dry mouth can make wearing dentures uncomfortable. Luckily, however, there are products that can help. In particular, talk with your loved one's dentist about fake saliva, a saliva substitute that typically comes in a spray form.
4. Healthy Snacks
Sugar can build up around the gums, worsening gum disease or creating cavities. To help prevent this, you may want to supply your loved one with tooth-healthy snacks. Some ideas include cheese or crunchy vegetables and fruits such as carrots or apples. Unfortunately, if your loved one's dental issues worsen, he or she may find it uncomfortable to wear dentures. Additionally, in some cases, having a lot of mouth pain (from ill fitting dentures, gum disease, tooth aches or other issues) can actually worsen the confusion or anger associated with dementia.