Societally, we’re living longer than ever, and that has led to a much higher need for family caregivers. People that fall under the family caregiver title are responsible for assisting ill or elderly patients that require various treatment regimens and medications around the clock. This might be a job done by a family member, or someone from the outside that is trained to deal with the special circumstances involved. Since 1994 the National Family Caregivers Association has been promoting the celebration of family caregivers during Thanksgiving week. Your Rochester dentist, Dr. Gilly Calcagno, wants to join in the celebration by offering some tips on brushing the teeth of a patient with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Family Caregivers Play a Vital Role in Patient’s Health
Over 65 million family caregivers are employed in America. Their primary focus is the safety, comfort, and continuity of care for the person they work for. Every president since former President Bill Clinton has issued annual proclamations of celebration and appreciation for caregivers. When it comes to dental issues, family caregivers are often responsible for cleaning and maintaining the teeth of the patient they are caring for.
Brushing the Teeth of Elderly People
When an elderly person struggles with Alzheimer’s or dementia, dental self-care can be easily forgotten. However, this is an important time for oral health to remain a priority, because infection can set in fast through the teeth, and travel to other parts of the body. Many caregivers find that the best toothbrush for an elderly person is a children’s toothbrush. The reason for this is that there could be some cooperation problems. When an elderly person doesn’t know who someone is, or what they’re doing, they may be unwilling to open their mouth wide enough for the caregiver to properly clean the teeth. Children’s toothpaste might also be considered if the patient no longer has the ability to spit and rinse.
Dental Care in Rochester
Calcagno Family Dentistry provides comprehensive dentistry services to patients of all ages. If you’d like to arrange an appointment for you, or someone you care for, contact our Rochester dentist office at (507)281-3659. We are happy to serve patients in Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, the 55902 zip code, and surrounding neighborhoods.