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Are there reasons why it's hard for her like being able to stand up or get to the bathroom? If so, deal with the problem and maybe you'll get better compliance.

My dad would use the toilet but then be so exhausted that he'd tell me that he was too tired and would just brush his teeth in the morning, thinking that would suffice for me.

It might sound a bit odd, but I'd actually use his dementia to get what I wanted. I'd say, "oh no Dad, we can't do that!" He'd ask why not. So I'd say, "well you'll for sure have more of those mouth sores by morning from all the bacteria, and you remember how much you hate mouth sores and blisters, right?" I never suggested he might get them because I knew his operative word would be MIGHT. Instead, I just treated it as if it was a matter of fact. Actions and consequences and reminded how much he hated the consequences. All of a sudden, brushing the teeth didn't sound as bothersome as the alternative.

That's a bit difficult to argue with, even if you can't remember ever having a mouth sore. Nobody likes mouth sores, and most folks aren't willing to risk a blister. He never had them, but that's because we would always get those teeth brushed... and gargle with saline. Every night, the same routine.

In the morning he didn't mind brushing them so much but sometimes he'd object. But one thing about Dad is that he loved his coffee (never knew I switched him to decaf). If he objected in the morning, I'd remind him how much not brushing his teeth would prevent him from tasting his coffee and how much the gunk in his mouth would make the coffee taste like dirty dishwater. He couldn't have that, so he'd brush his teeth.

Find something they really like or dislike and build a logical case with that being the consequence. But leave the decision up to them. People with dementia don't get the obvious ploy, so don't be afraid to play it up or make one of the choices really obnoxious to them or a way that they would lose out.

Remember choices, but just two choices. One choice is what you want them to do, and the other one is one you know they will reject soundly. After getting ready for bed, I'd want him to head to the bedroom next. But telling him that it was time to go there wasn't a choice. So I'd always ask if he wanted to go to bed now or if he'd like to go out and play cards. Dad hated playing cards, so you know what he would always choose.
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I hear you. My mom is 92, luckily has her own teeth still, lives in a memory care unit. I can tell from her breath, and from how little of the toothpaste has been used that I bought her about 2 mos. ago, that she is hardly ever brushing her teeth. She swears she is, of course. But she can't remember. I have asked the staff where she lives to make sure she brushes her teeth (not just remind her and then walk away). I take her to dentist every 6 mos. & have asked him to talk to her about it, too, but with dementia, that really does no good, except that later, I can remind her that the dentist (whom she likes) said she needed to brush more often to have better health. (She won't listen to ideas that come from me, but if someone else said it, it influences her more) I have no suggestions for you, but will be curious to see what others say in response to your question. Good question.
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