Tips for Dental Care After a Stroke

Having a stroke can affect many aspects of a person’s life. Even the most mundane daily tasks can become challenging or even impossible. One of those tasks is dental care. After a stroke, your aging relative may be unable to brush their own teeth or need to learn a new way to do it on their own.

 

Senior Care in Markham : Dental Care After a Stroke

Senior Care in Markham: Dental Care After a Stroke

 

Why is Dental Care Important Post-Stroke?

Dental care is important for everyone, but someone who has had a stroke may be more susceptible to tooth decay because of changes in the way their mouth works. Their flow of saliva may change, they may not feel pain as acutely (which could mean problems go unnoticed), or they may have trouble with their tongue that makes swishing and spitting harder.

If your aging relative does not take care of their mouth, they may have trouble eating. Gum disease and cavities can be painful and make them unwilling to eat. If they don’t eat, they will not have the strength to dedicate to stroke recovery and are at risk for malnutrition.

 

What is Some Adaptation That Can Help?

Since gripping the skinny handle of a toothbrush can be hard when hand strength and dexterity is compromised, it can help to change the handle of the toothbrush. Some ways to make a toothbrush easier to hold are:

  • Wrap the handle with the grip from a bicycle handlebar.
  • Cut a hole through a tennis ball and stick the handle through it.
  • Wrap a washcloth around the handle and secure it with rubber bands.

The older adult may also wish to switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric one. There are many different kinds of electric toothbrushes that vibrate or spin in different ways. Choose the one that feels best to your aging relative.

Flossing will more difficult for a stroke survivor as well. Instead of using traditional floss that requires two hands to thread between teeth, opt for floss picks.

 

Tips for Brushing Teeth

  • Seniors who have had a stroke can learn to brush their teeth on their own. Some tips that may help are:
  • When applying toothpaste, grasp the brush in the weaker hand and use the strong hand to put the toothpaste on it.
  • If swallowing is a problem, don’t use too much water or toothpaste as it may cause choking.
  • If putting toothpaste on the brush is too hard, put toothpaste on the tongue and then pick it up with the brush.

Elderly care providers can also assist seniors to brush their teeth after a stroke. Elderly care providers can help with putting toothpaste on the brush. If necessary, an elderly care provider can brush the senior’s teeth for them. Elderly care providers can also drive the older adult to the dentist’s office for appointments.

 

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Markham, please contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.

 

Sources

http://strokeconnection.strokeassociation.org/

http://strokerecovery.guide/brushing-teeth

http://www.strokesmart.org/Dental-Hygiene

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