The Caregiver’s Role in Dental Health

The Caregiver’s Role in Dental Health

If you’re a caregiver for an elderly parent or relative, you know what a big job caring for another person entails. There are meals to prepare, doctor’s appointments to attend, clothes to wash, rooms to clean and baths to be given.

Dental health often slips through the cracks amid all the duties a caregiver undertakes, but the health of your loved one’s teeth and gums is as important as their state of mind or the condition of their heart and lungs. Here’s why.

Good dental health promotes comfort, safety, and self-esteem. Tooth and gum sensitivity or pain from a broken or decayed tooth results in overall discomfort and could affect your loved one’s mood and ability to rest.

In addition to disrupting comfort, unaddressed teeth and gum issues such as cavities or periodontal disease can directly affect the body’s overall health and further complicate other health issues. Broken teeth or partial dentures are also hazardous and can lead to choking.

Self-esteem isn’t always the first issue discussed when it comes to the elderly but they care about their appearance as much as younger people do. Poor dental health causes self-esteem issues which can lead to depression and anxiety.

You can help your loved one care for their dental health by reminding them to brush and floss according to ADA guidelines, assisting them with their dental hygiene routine, scheduling dental appointments and providing transportation to the clinic, and helping to clean and inspect their dentures regularly. Learn more about the responsibilities of a caregiver concerning their loved one’s dental health in this great article by the American Dental Association.

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