Inability to perform oral care is one of the conditions that place patients at risk for oral disorders. The other conditions include: lack of knowledge about oral hygiene, alteration in the integrity of teeth and mucosa resulting from disease or treatments, and the lack or absence of aggressive care for patients who are particulary at risk. These are patients who are experiencing any of the following: paralysis, serious illness, upper extremity activity limitations, state of unconsciousness, disorientation, diabetes, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, oral surgery, and NPO status (NPO is a medical instruction to withhold oral food and fluids from a patient for various reasons).
Refer to your patient’s medical record or care plan for guidance. Oral care must be provided on a regular basis but the frequency of hygiene measures will depend on the condition of your patient’s mouth. Assemble the following supplies before you administer oral hygiene: cleansing solution, such as diluted hydrogen peroxide, toothpaste, normal saline, soda solution, or mouthwash; soft-bristled toothbrush and tongue blade wrapped with gauze; towel; emesis basin; disposable gloves; flashlight; and dental floss (optional). Explain the procedure to your patient to encourage cooperation and decrease anxiety. Wash your hands and wear gloves to reduce spread of microorganisms. Provide privacy by closing the door and raise his bed to a comfortable working position. Position his head towards you and close to you; proper positioning will prevent aspiration. Place towel under your patient’s face and emesis basin under his chin to facilitate procedure and prevent soiling of bed. Carefully separate patient’s jaws, and clean mouth using brush and tongue blade. Clean inner and outer teeth surfaces. Swab roof of mouth and inside cheeks. Use flashlight for better visualization of oral cavity. Gently swab tongue. Rinse and repeat. Rinse several times to remove food particles and secretions, and to moisten mucosa and leave mouth fresh. Apply lubricant to lips.
Proper care prevents oral disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis and tooth destruction. Complete oral hygiene provides a sense of well-being;it can help your patient to communicate better, eat more easily, and maintain dignityLeave a reply →