Mom is not cooperative with Dad, but certainly more often with him than me when it comes to tasks or going places. Based on a recent dental visit it seems she is not brushing her teeth. Anyone had any tricks/luck with getting that done or encouraging it? Reminder notes on the mirror? Or does it just make more sense to get into the DDS office far more often...and how often makes sense? Once a month? Some may be quick to say if she's that bad she belongs in a nursing home, but I've read enough to know dental care can easily be neglected there as well in addition to the change in environment being detrimental to her well-being and functioning...we cannot afford daily in-home help and our attempt at getting an aide in even once a week to help with her personal care/showering was a total loss. She's together enough to be rejecting and combative. Just wondering if there are any success stories out there...

Seeing a dentist more is not the answer. Studies have shown that for most people, having 2 cleanings a year doesn't make any difference over 1 cleaning a year. So seeing the dentist more isn't going to help.

I've had this issue with both my mom and grandma. For years, every night, I would ask dad if mom brushed her teeth. For years, I believed it. She wasn't brushing her teeth. I asked dad if he saw her brushing her teeth. He said no, he just assumed she was since she was in the bathroom. So I started making sure mom brushed her teeth at bed time. I get everything ready including putting toothpaste on the brush and after she's done washing her hands, I hand her the toothbrush. Sometimes it goes quickly. Other times she just stares at me asking what this is. I then go through the motions of brushing my own teeth and generally she picks up on that. There was resistance at first but now we have a routine. It doesn't always work. Maybe 80% of the time. It's much better than nothing.

Grandma has been harder. She really didn't brush her teeth in years. I would often try to get her to brush her teeth. She would refuse. Generally with the toothbrush tossed on the floor. If I tried to use an oral swab, she would bite the swab and me. This went on for years. All this changed when she became bedbound last year. Slowly I've been able to get her to brush her teeth. Now it's part of the routine as well. She "brushes" her teeth with an oral swab 3 times a day. It's easy now. I just hand it to her and she does the rest.

I guess my only advice is to keep at it. Don't hope for an instant miracle. Just keep at it until it becomes a daily routine.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to needtowashhair

I had an aide that told me Mom was not brushing her teeth. I asked if she, the aide, was putting the toothpaste on the brush and handing it to Mom. The aide said No. Thats what you had to do. When you handed Mom the brush she brushed her teeth. Too long most of the time.
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Reply to JoAnn29

It's really tough and no matter what you do, it might not make much difference. As long as my LO was able, she was transported to a very understanding dentist who worked with us in doing all we could without too much distress on her. He wrote a prescription for daily brushing and daily oral rinses for the MC staff. It hung over her nightstand. Eventually, it became very difficult, as she has lost the ability to cooperate or know how to swish and spit.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1

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