My mother has been in her nursing home for 4 years, and although she came in with her teeth in reasonably good shape (and all her own) for being almost 89, since then several of her teeth have decayed to the gum line, particularly the front lower ones, and she has usually has bad breath. She has no pain and is able to eat her food. The staff used to bring her a type of mouthwash (blue, resembling Windex) sometimes when I was there in the evening, but I'm not sure they are even doing that any longer. She is bedridden and has lost considerable muscle tone so anything more complicated than eating or picking up a letter is a challenge (in addition to her level of dementia, probably vascular). Depending upon who brought the mouthwash, she was sometimes told to swallow it after rinsing while at other times she was told to spit it out. She was at the dentist about 3 years ago, and although the latter performed some work he mentioned that if any teeth cause problems they can be extracted. Frankly, I don't know what they could do with many of them at this point, and if they aren't causing her any problems (such as pain or infection) I'm less inclined to force the issue (and at one point she said something to the effect "well, at MY age..."). However, I'm wondering what responsibility the NH has in terms of helping her with dental hygiene; I'm not certain if they are even consistent with the mouthwash, but I intend to ask (sometimes it's hard to find anyone who can give a straight answer to any question!). I don't know whether it would even be possible to brush them (I doubt she could do it herself) without ripping up her gums or causing other damage. At any rate, what experience have others had?