Hi I provide care total care for my mom, she has not been able to follow instructions anymore, so basically I provide her care. Mom is a dementia patient, with many physical ailments. I love my mom, and I have no problems caring for her with the assist of my husband. Problem is when I brush her teeth she swallows the toothpaste and mouthwash, I am reluctant now to even try because she continually does this. I use the lemon swabs now, but I am concerned that it is not enough. Does anyone have any ideas on what we can do?
Re sodium bicarbonate: Unlike fluoride which at the very least should be regulated as to the amount being administered, baking soda is benign. Even someone on a low sodium diet won't be taking in very much from the little bit of powder that would adhere to a toothbrush. If there is a medication being given where sodium needs to be minutely controlled, that is a matter to be taken up with one's doctor.
P.S. I'm not a dental hygienist, but I do have a background in nutrition and herbal studies.
Watch out for sodium bicarbonate if she's on a low sodium diet. If she has xerostomia from medications, alcohol mouthwashes should be avoided. Biotene brand makes products for people suffering from this (from dentifrice, oral gels, gum, and mouthiness) Great stuff! I am glad to read that you are helping your mom with her oral health as much as possible because it can affect her overall health.
At your mother's age, the main concern should be her gums, so make sure you get down into the gum line. Using a soft bristle brush, wet it with hydrogen peroxide before adding baking soda for a double cleansing whammy. The H2O2 bubbles up, helping to remove debris and killing pathogens as well. The more bubbling, the greater the presence of bacteria.
Please do NOT give your mother anything with fluoride, neither toothpaste nor mouthwash nor supplements. The public was sold a bill of goods touting sodium fluoride as beneficial to the teeth (which it is not) when the industry hit upon the perfect way to profit off a substance that is an industrial waste product and was formerly sold as rat poison. Studies show that sodium fluoride lowers IQ when given throughout childhood. Can't be doing any good to someone suffering from dementia!
One more note:
PERIOGUARD or PERIDEX are excellent. They are prescription. Cannot rinse with water afterwards, as it will become bitter. Does stain the teeth like coffee stain, but that comes off with a professional cleaning. This is a great option, but you need to tell your dentist that your mom swallows the mouthwash...Also don't know if they have fluoride. They are to keep the gums healthy, and keep the bacteria level down, but don't think they prevent decay??? ask your dentist/periodontist
It is not as good as a brush, but buy from your dentist 2X2 gauze(ours is non-woven, rayon polyester formed fabric), as theirs is better and doesn't leave bits of gauze
Wet the gauze with that alcohol free, fluoride mouthwash and gently rub her teeth cleaned. This is if she won't let you brush at all.
There is another product to get between her teeth. BUTLER "Soft Pics"
They are disposible. Another are "go be tweens"They come in packs of maybe8-10 and can be reused if rinsed and dried. Get the smallest .
These all can be found in your pharmacy, grocery stores, wallmarts, etc
Your mom is who she is, these are just ideas.
I also use a Butler END TUFF brush which only cleans one tooth at a time,and mostly the ones far back that you can't reach. The handle is long, and it reaches a specific tooth you need to get. Again a private pharmacy may have or all a periodontal denal office and they could give you one to try, Then order a dozen if you like from that office.
RMEMBER, if you use toothpaste, it really is the toothbrush that cleans her teeth.
Toothpaste is to a toothbrush , as catchup is to hotdog, or sugar to ice tea..Its not necessary....its purpose is to make the toothbrush more fun and to put fluoride on the teeth. So only put a "pea" size amt on the brush.
My dad is age 97. I take him to the dentist 2 x year. And they sometimes give him fluoride treatments. DO ASK your dentists/hygienist for ideas.
I think it is wonderful that you are so concerned. Your mom won't tell you when a tooth hurts till it is too late. You need to keep her going to a dentist to check for decay. The elderly have dryer mouths and more root exposure which decays quickly.