This patient support community is for discussions relating to stroke, rehabilitation, ability to eat/swallow, alertness, bowel/bladder control, depression, motor skills, nutrition, orthotics/braces, pain, prevention, senses, and spasticity.
How are you people caring for your loved one's teeth after the stroke? If you're not sure whether they will live or die, clean teeth are trivial, but if they have recovered enough to have a long post-stroke life ahead of them, clean teeth are important. Seems nursing homes and rehabs do nothing about teeth except stick a toothbrush into hand of stroke survivor who perhaps only sucks on it. How do other people handle this? Can you TEACH someone to clean their teeth properly or do you just do it yourself or do you just forget about it?
Tressa999 - Great question. Seems there are a lot of those "little things" that can be neglected after a stroke. Normal hygiene, hair care, shaving, etc. Even cleaning up after they have spilled foods or liquids. For whatever reason, some stroke survivors forget about these little issues that were previously done as a matter of normal routine.
In my wifes case, I still have to remind her to do many of those simple items. Turn off the light - Turn off the stove - Close the door - You spilled some coffee. These are "after issues" or multi tasking issues that seem to be forgotten. We do "this first, then this second". I suspect that these things were "learned" when they were small children. Now, post stroke, it appears some of those "learned" issues may have been lost and reteaching is necessary. In my case, it's like having a newborn baby around sometimes. I often try to remember how long it took our children to learn to brush their teeth, take a bath, comb their hair, pick up their room and do their own laundry. It took years. Feels like I'm starting all over again now.
For whatever reason, my wife always brushed her teeth. While in ICU, she was given those foam tooth brushes. After ten or so minutes of scrubbing, we'd have to ask her "are you done yet?" She seemed to really enjoy brushing her teeth. Strange!
We've come to something similar, though we haven't tried battery operated toothbrush yet. My husband's so sensitive to touch since the stroke that I don't know if he will tolerated mechanical toothbrush, but I'll give it a try.
My problem is that he doesn't really brush. He puts toothbrush into his mouth and brushes one spot, then takes it out and says he's finished. I have to push him again & again to do all the rest of his teeth or else brush them myself.
What do you do about flossing? I bought my husband the little plastic flossers that can be used with one hand, but to get all his teeth flossed I have to do it myself.
I'm so happy to find all of you! My loved one just suffered a stroke ten days ago. I found it was easiest for me to complete dentaly hygiene with him (he's in a rehab hospital)at the end of the day. First I soak his bridge in Polident. While it's soaking I hand him the toothbrush with paste on it (I recommend you invest in a battery operated toothbrush)and have ready a cup of water, a basin, and a towel. He has to rinse with the water and spit into the basin. But it works! and it's something he can do himself.
I haven't addressed flossing yet. He has a bridge that I remove and soak in Polident, so that might be a good time to use those flossers. I tell him the better his dental hygiene the more I'll kiss him, and that usually motivates him.
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