Good oral health contributes to keeping elderly persons healthy. As a nurse assistant, you may need to help patients and residents clean and care for their dentures. If dentures are not cared for properly, they can lead to painful infections of the mouth; furthermore, infections in the mouth may result in infections in other parts of the body.
For proper denture care, first, greet your patient and explain that you are going to help her clean her dentures for the day. Wash your hands and gather supplies: gloves, a denture brush, toothpaste or denture cleaner, and a hand towel or paper towels. If the patient is able to take out her dentures without your help, ask her to do so. If the patient needs some assistance, remove the dentures carefully. Begin with the upper or top denture, gently move the denture up and down to break the seal, and then gently slide the denture out of the patient’s mouth. Repeat the same steps with the lower denture. Put the dentures into a denture case to ensure that they do not break if dropped because they are expensive to replace.
Now, clean the dentures. Put the towel in the bottom of the sink to prevent possible breakage should the dentures drop or fall. Take the dentures out of the case for cleaning, rinse the denture case, and fill it with cool water. Using a denture brush and denture cleaner or toothpaste, clean the dentures as you would regular teeth. Brush the areas where the dentures come in contact with the patient’s gums. Rinse the dentures under cool running water and put back into the denture case filled with water to store until the next day.
Here are some important tips about proper denture care:
Clean patient’s or resident’s dentures daily
Do not allow patient or resident to sleep in dentures
Keep dentures in cool water when not in a patient’s or resident’s mouth
Clean the denture case regularly
If the dentures do not fit correctly, or you observe a mouth lesion or sore, tell the nurse or supervisor.