Good oral care is important at any age. However certain segments of the population require help with their oral hygiene care, including elderly, sick and mentally or physically challenged. Studies have shown that many family members are taking on the role of a primary care giver and oral hygiene should be another important area of focus to consider for any caregiver.
There is a huge link to oral health and overall health, and keeping the mouth healthy, keeps the body healthy (since the two are connected). A thing to consider is micro- organisms (bacteria) from oral infections that can enter the bloodstream and lungs and travel through the body. This can increase the risk for heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disorders.
Brushing and flossing are crucial activities that effect general health just as much as medications, proper diet and physical activity. Seeing a dental hygienist regularly aid in the process of general well being, and should be a part of everyone's regular routine.When providing care to an individual with needs certain signs should be observed for inadequate oral care:
- Food debris
- Weight loss
- Chronic bad breath
- Red, swollen, bleeding tender gums
- Loose teeth/ tooth pain
- Abscess or pus around gums or teeth
- Brushing and or cleaning the mouth twice daily for two minutes
- Remove and brush dentures twice daily or more if needed
- Floss teeth at least daily
- Brushing or scraping tongue
- Booking regular dental hygiene/ dental visits.
An important resource to utilize should be your dental professionals. We can aid in advice and tips to help make home care effective and give you the tools to help make sure that individuals, no matter their disability, receive the proper care they need to maintain oral and overall health.