Alzheimer’s Dental Care in Plantation, FL
Alzheimer’s disease poses unique challenges to maintaining dental health. As Alzheimer's progresses, dementia patients may forget when and how to brush and floss their teeth. This conflict can jeopardize their oral health as well as cause other functional difficulties with chewing, digesting, and maintaining proper nutrition. If you care for an Alzheimer’s patient in early or late stage dementia, our experienced and compassionate Plantation, FL team is ready and able to help you get them the dental care they need to avoid decay and maintain their good oral health.
Signs of Dental Problems in Alzheimer’s Patients
Sometimes Alzheimer’s patients may not be able to communicate a dental problem, such as a toothache. If you notice any of the following behaviors, you should seek immediate dental care for the patient:
- A refusal to eat hard or cold foods
- Frequent pulling at the face or mouth
- Leaving previously worn dentures out of the mouth
- Increased irritability, moaning, or shouting
- Disturbed sleep
- Refusal to take part in daily activities
- Unusually aggressive behavior
Dental Care Challenges for Alzheimer’s Patients
- Early stages of dementia: In the early stages of dementia, patients are usually still able to clean their own teeth. However, they may need to be reminded daily, or they may need to be supervised. It is very important to establish an individual long-term preventive program at this time. We can assist you with developing an effective decay prevention plan.
- Later stages of dementia: As dementia progresses, the patient may lose the ability to clean their teeth, or lose interest in doing so, at which point the caregiver may need to take over this task. We can also offer help with learning to properly care for the patient’s teeth at home.
Alzheimer’s and Home Dental Care
For everyone, dental health starts at home. To help an Alzheimer’s patient avoid dental problems we recommend the following:
Simplify Instructions: Break down dental care directions into short and simple steps.
- Hold your toothbrush.
- Put paste on the brush.
- Now brush your teeth.
- Show Don’t Tell: Hold a toothbrush and demonstrate how to brush your teeth properly. Or, put your hand over the person's hand, gently guiding the brush.
- Make Time for Daily Dental Care: Brush your patient’s teeth at least twice a day, with the last brushing after the evening meal. Remember to allow plenty of time and find a comfortable position if you must assist with brushing.
Alzheimer’s Dental Care Appointments in Plantation, FL
We welcome Alzheimer’s patients and all other special needs patients. If you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver, you can schedule a special needs dentistry appointment with our Plantation, FL office today. Dr. Weiss, Dr. Waldee, and Dr. Hohimer are skilled special needs dentists, offering sleep and sedation dentistry and any other accommodations needed to treat Alzheimer’s patients gently and effectively. The Sleep Dentists proudly serve families daily throughout Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, and the surrounding Florida communities.