Senior Dental Care Tips: Dental Care for People with Alzheimer's and Dementia


When asked for senior dental care advice, we often remind patients that their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia may forget how to care for their teeth. It may be up to caregivers to assist their elderly parents with brushing their teeth and denture care.

Many older people suffer from cognitive decline, including diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. As people become more forgetful, they may forget routine hygiene tasks such as brushing their teeth. Caregivers may benefit from understanding how their loved one’s mind processes information differently now, and how changing the instructions about brushing their teeth can help with senior dental care.

Senior Dental Care: Three Steps to Helping Dementia Patients with Oral Care

The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center offers these three tips for senior dental care. These tips can help you guide your loved one through a simple dental hygiene routine to help them maintain their health and dignity.

  1. Give short, simple instructions: Keep your instructions clear, simple, and to the point. Walk them through the task as if they have never done it before and keep your sentences short and clear.

  2. Demonstrate the task: You may need to demonstrate the task. Point to your own mouth and, using your own toothbrush, show the person how to brush their teeth. Have the other person brush along with you so that each step is modeled for them.

  3. Brush twice a day: You may need to brush the person’s teeth for them. Be as gentle as you can and brush the teeth in the morning upon rising and in the evening after the last food or drink is consumed. If the person wears dentures, rinse them twice a day and brush them in the evening to remove food particles.

The goal with senior dental care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s is to help them maintain their independence as long as possible and keep their teeth and gums healthy. Although there’s a lot to remember when you’re caring for someone who is ill, oral hygiene is important for both dental and overall health. A few minutes a day is all it takes to help someone care for their teeth.

Bassett Creek Dental offers senior dental care as well as family dentistry in our comfortable, welcoming Golden Valley office. For an appointment, please call us at 763-546-1301.


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