Keeping well: mouthcare

Mouthcare is an important part of daily care as it:

  • increases comfort
  • prevents mouth sores and
  • may improve appetite.

Notes for carers – how can you help?

  • assist with regular denture or teeth cleaning (using a soft toothbrush)
  • encourage regular mouthwashes
  • encourage fluids, ice cubes, gum or pineapple to keep the mouth moist
  • look out for white patchy areas on the mouth – they may indicate oral thrush that requires special treatment
  • apply petroleum jelly to the lips and
  • report any problems to the nurse or doctor.

Common problems

For dry mouth:

  • encourage use of sugar-free gum
  • encourage fluid intake, sucking ice cubes or pineapple and
  • apply petroleum jelly to the lips (unless the person is on oxygen).

For oral thrush (white patchy areas in the mouth):

  • clean teeth and dentures with toothbrush and toothpaste and
  • treat dentures with thrush treatment.

If either dry mouth or thrush persist, discuss with your nurse or GP.