Home Care Tips: Helping Your Senior Get Used to New Dentures
Home Care in Northbrook IL
For seniors who have been coping with missing teeth, painful teeth, breakage, or decay, dentures can make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and their ability to get the nutrition that they need on a regular basis. If your elderly loved one will be getting dentures in the near future, it is important to design your home care efforts around helping her to get used to those new dentures so that she can enjoy the most benefits out of them as quickly as possible and avoid potential issues such as breakage, irritation, or injury.
Use these tips to help your elderly loved one get used to her new dentures:
• Prepare her mentally. Before she gets her dentures fitted, talk to her about them and what it might be like to get used to wearing them. Make sure to explain to her that these dentures will not feel like her natural teeth, but that if she remains persistent she will get used to them and they will no longer feel so strange. Just going into the experience knowing that she will be experiencing something strange but that you are there to help her can make her feel much less uncomfortable and more prepared to handle the challenges.
• Do not make her uncomfortable. Once she get her dentures fitted, be there for her emotionally. It is likely that she will experience issues such as gagging, spitting, slurring her speech, or even her dentures slipping out of her mouth while she is getting used to them. Do not laugh at her or tease her about this. That would only make her uncomfortable and discourage her from continuing to use them. Offer your encouragement so that she will stay strong and keep trying.
• Eat with caution. Eating with new dentures can be difficult. Start by serving foods that are soft and easy for your parent to chew so that she can get used to just the feeling of chewing first, then move on to harder, more difficult foods. Make sure that she does not use her front teeth to bite down into foods as this can move the dentures out of place, and that she chews on both sides of her mouth to keep the dentures stable and in place.
• Know when to ask for help. Getting used to dentures can be stressful, but it should not be miserable. If your parent is really struggling with getting used to the dentures, has developed sore spots that will not go away, or is having such a hard time with them that she is unwilling to use them, bring her back to the dentist so that he can examine her mouth as well as the dentures and make any adjustments needed to make them more comfortable and functional for her.
• Clean routine. Part of getting your parent used to the dentures is not about wearing them at all, but making them a part of her lifestyle. Create a routine of removing the dentures at night, cleaning them with appropriate products, and storing them until morning. This will help her to feel more comfortable with them as part of her life and more willing to use them consistently.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.