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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Why is mouth care important?
Mouth care prevents infection, plaque, bleeding gums, mouth sores, and cavities. It also freshens breath and improves appetite. Do mouth care in the morning, after each meal, and before bed each night. You may need more frequent mouth care if your mouth is in poor condition.
What items will I need to do mouth care?
- An electric or manual toothbrush
- Toothpaste, dental sticks, and floss
- A cup of water for rinsing
- Water-based lip balm or moisturizer
How do I brush my teeth?
- Wet the toothbrush and place a small amount of toothpaste on it.
- Gently place the brush on each tooth, and move it in a circle. Do not press too hard. This may injure your gums.
- Clean the inner, outer, and top surfaces of your teeth. Brush your gums and the top of your tongue.
- Swish the water in your mouth and spit it out. Repeat this step with mouthwash.
- Dry around your mouth. Apply water-based lip balm or moisturizer to your lips to prevent cracking and dryness.
How do I floss my teeth?
Thread the floss between each tooth, but do not push down on the gums too hard. This can cause gum damage. Make sure to floss on each side of every tooth. You may need to use waxed floss for easier movement between your teeth.
What if I wear dentures?
Remove the dentures from your mouth before you clean them. Moist dentures come out more easily. Drink a sip of water before you remove your dentures. Gently rock the dentures from side to side to loosen them. Then pull them out.
- Brush the dentures with clean water and denture cleaner or toothpaste.
- Brush the dentures on all surfaces with cool water. Do not use hot water. Hot water could damage the dentures. Be careful not to bend any clasps on the dentures as you brush them. Rinse them. Place a thin layer of denture adhesive on the dentures and put them back in your mouth. Ask your caregiver which adhesive to use.
- Soak the dentures in a denture solution each night after you brush them. Rinse them in cold water before you place them back in your mouth.
When should I contact my caregiver?
- You develop mouth sores.
- Your dentures do not fit well.
- You have pain with brushing.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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