peigeone Asked September 2012

How can I clean my mother's teeth when she's trying to bite the toothbrush or won't open her mouth?

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momhouseme Sep 2012
Keep trying to brush to prevent tooth decay problems.
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4LANEY Sep 2012
peigeone, You're welcome! I think you've got the right idea. I was a little concerned when I got the impression others might have misunderstood my intentions. Though I wouldn't want my sister to suffer needlessly from tooth decay (she was an 11 year victim of FTD), I never worried/obsessed about perfection in mouth care! The teeth brushing routine I described above was something MY SISTER wanted and sincerely thanked me for each time. (I am not exaggerating when I tell you I get teary eyed just thinking about how humbled I felt, how much little things like this meant to her, and how honored and pleased that I could provide loving care and help her maintain some quality and dignity through her dying days.) Again, hope this helps.
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momhouseme Sep 2012
You are not suppose to swall GelKam!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes my mom swishes and spits an sometimes she swallows....ugh so we cannot use the Gel Kam. yes, i let mom be the director and will do so as long as she can do it. she is the director in most areas as well except it is my directive when she needs to get in and out of the car.
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igloo572 Sep 2012
If you are kinda worried about mouth bacteria, ask your dentist for an Rx for GelKam.
Its a by prescription only Colgate product and is designed for passive tooth care and oral health. it does have a cinnaminty taste and my mom at first found it warm but is used to it now. Also comes in a rinse.
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peigeone Sep 2012
Thanks for all of your suggestions!! I'm going to try and if I meet any resistance...I'm moving on and enjoying the rest of our day. At this point, it really isn't that important, I was just STUCK in what we always did.
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lese1254 Sep 2012
Do the best that you can. At this time is it really important? The only thing that matters is that she is happy the days she is with you.The only thihg that is important is your time with her. Clean teeth or not. She will not be with you long enough to care about the small things including her teeth cleaning. Enjoy the time you have. Take it from someone who"s mother is on hospice and does not now how long she has. Her teeth are the last thing I am worried about. My concern is spending time with my mom singing, reminicing and enjoying her company while she is still with me. THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT TIME SPENT ENJOYING HER. Who cares about anything else. My mother will soon be gone. I would rather spend time with her that worrying about her hygeine at this time. I will not remeber if she brushed her teeth. but I will remember her songs, her voice, her laugh, and her hugs and kisses
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lese1254 Sep 2012
Do the best that you can. At this time is it really important? The only thing that matters is that she is happy the days she is with you. This will be short, becasue my mother is on hospice care. I do not care what they say is needed. The only thihg that is important is your time with her. Clean teeth or not. She will not be with you long enough to care about the small things including her teeth cleaning. Enjoy the time you have. Take it from someone who"s mother is on hospice and does not now how long she has. Her teeth are the last thing I am worried about. Just enjoy your time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I know everyone is different. Mom use to take the brush and go to town, now I have to start for her, which she doesn't like, so she takes the brush from me and finishes. We got some toothpaste that isn't so extremely minty, as it seemed to be too strong for her and she would resist. I'm lucky, Mom will even let me floss sometimes.
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4LANEY Sep 2012
I agree with both of the above responses. Suzmarie sounds like a wonderful caregiver---especially admire her gentleness and allowing/encouraging her mom to be the director. My situation in caring for my sister was different in that she was cognitively impaired far beyond just memory loss. Nonetheless, we managed fairly well with patience, respect, and gentleness as noted above. I would add that I was NOT able to get my sister to swish and spit nor swallow on command. Oh well. I still used toothpaste, and after each brushing I'd watch her swallow a little as I finished with/removed the toothbrush. Then I would spray mouthwash inside her mouth, using my thumb and fingers to now hold her mouth open as much as possible. I used a small (6 ounce) clear spray bottle (approx. $1 in WalMart) filled with a minty wash (blue Scope, etc.) and gave 2 or 3 quick squirts. I directed the spray at the inner surfaces of her teeth, not towards her throat so as to avoid stimulating her gag or cough reflex center. Hope this suggestion helps you.
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Darcy123 Sep 2012
You just do the best you can. That is all you can do. Sometimes things just won't get done like we would like to. We just take it day by day. Some days you will get to do a better job than others.
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