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Helping a Person with Dementia to Clean Their Teeth


Tooth brushing in dementia can involve a number of tricky details. Anticipating needs is all it takes to make it easy to brush teeth. See dozens of tips to help people with dementia keep their mouth, breath and teeth clean and fresh.

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Ellen Belk
Ellen Belk
January 21, 2015 1:46 pm

Great Info. Well presented. Simple steps, yet informative. Too often, oral care is not maintained, which is a missed opportunity that impacts negatively, for all the reasons you mention. Bravo!

January 23, 2015 6:52 pm

Fabulous informative video – sensitive to the needs, dignity, and present orientation of the Person and provides ways to approach oral care from a person centered perspective – and gives the caregiver foundation of understanding from which to draw from, as opposed to becoming frustrated and tabling for another day. The point about when to do it – even at non-ordinary times and in non-ordinary places like at a kitchen table or when the person is ready vs the time of day – is something that is not always thought about or brought out. This is a wonderful informative video made with true care for all involved.

March 2, 2017 11:33 am

We struggle with my Mom not being able to understand to spit out and she swallows the toothpaste. How harmful is this for her.

March 4, 2017 7:28 am

Use children's Toothpaste

October 24, 2017 5:05 am

It is great information to follow through. I showed my Dad how to rinse his month by demonstration that he can follow

November 4, 2017 9:02 pm


April 10, 2019 2:20 pm

I brushed Mom's teeth for her – and sometimes – she wouldn't know how to spit either. I took her to the dentist for her regular checkups until she couldn't follow directions very well. (Dentist advised – using childrens toothpaste – BUT – even if they swallow regular toothpaste at times – it's not that bad on their overall health – IT's better to help them brush – regardless of swallowing the toothpaste – THAN NOT TO BRUSH …. NOT brushing or TRYING to keep their mouth clean – can cause more serious problems for them .

B. Berger

B. Berger

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This site was inspired by my Mom’s autoimmune dementia.

It is a place where we separate out the wheat from the chaffe, the important articles & videos from each week’s river of news. With a new post on Alzheimer’s or dementia appearing on the internet every 7 minutes, the site’s focus on the best information has been a help to many over the past 15 years. Thanks to our many subscribers for your supportive feedback.

The site is dedicated to all those preserving the dignity of the community of people living with dementia.

Peter Berger, Editor


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