If you offer nursing home dental care in California (CA), it is crucial to know some safety measures to adhere to. Safety precautions for providing daily oral hygiene are a very important part of educational discussions that we need to include in our lives.
For example, nursing home residents are often evaluated for swallowing issues. This means that they may be placed on a special diet to reduce the risk of aspiration or choking. These restrictions can prohibit consuming thin liquids such as water. This means that a daily oral hygiene regimen that includes mouth rinse, water, and toothpaste can pose a choking hazard to such people.
Reducing the potential risks is a complicated process because the conditions experienced by nursing home residents change quickly. They can directly impact dietary restrictions. Residents who are approved to take thin liquids on Monday may be reevaluated midweek by mobile dental care service providers, at which time their dietary restrictions could change to an opposite recommendation of no thin fluids.
In addition, some nursing home residents with dementia may not understand that they need to expectorate mouth rinse. They may therefore hold the liquid in their mouths or swallow it. Regardless of their dietary restrictions and pre-existing conditions, oral hygiene care may be offered by moistening a toothbrush with mouth rinse or water and brushing the teeth. After brushing, flossing should follow if possible.
This is another important safety topic. The best position for proper oral hygiene care is sitting or standing. However, some residents may be unable to either sit or stand. Performing oral hygiene whilst a resident lies in bed may lead to choking or aspiration. This can be prevented by ensuring the bed is raised and providing care.
Nursing home dental care CA providers may also use a suction toothbrush to prevent aspiration among such patients.