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1-12. ROUTINE MOUTH CARE

a. General. Mouth care should be given at least every morning and evening to all patients, and preferably after every meal. Routine mouth care is essentially assisting a patient to brush his teeth (figure 1-11) and to rinse his mouth thoroughly, as often as needed. The purposes are to keep the mouth clean, to prevent sores and mouth odors, to retard or prevent deterioration of teeth, and to refresh the patient.

Figure 1-11. Cleaning the teeth.

b. Equipment. The following equipment is appropriate for routine mouth care.

(1) Glass of water.

(2) Drinking tube if necessary.

(3) Hand towel.

(4) Toothbrush and dentifrice.

(5) Mouthwash, if desired. Procedure for Patient Able to Help Himself. Following is the procedure for routine mouth care for a bed patient able to help himself.

  1. Place the patient in a comfortable position.
  2. Arrange the equipment within his reach on the bedside cabinet or on an over bed table.
  3. Remove and clean the equipment promptly when he is finished.
NOTE: Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly under running water and allow it to air dry-- not place the damp brush in the cabinet.

d. Procedure for a Patient Requiring Assistance. Following is the procedure for routine mouth care for a bed patient requiring some assistancez

(1) Turn the patient on his side or if on his back, turn his head to the side.

(2) Place a towel under his chin and over the bedding.

(3) Pour the water over the brush; place dentifrice on it.

(4) Give the patient his brush and hold the basin under his chin while he brushes his teeth (figure 1-12).

Figure 1-12. Assisting patient with mouth care.

(5) Encourage the patient to rinse his mouth frequently, using the drinking tube, if necessary to draw water in his mouth. The basin receives the used rinse water.

(6) Remove the basin; wipe his face and lips with the hand towel.

(7) Remove and clean the equipment

(8) Wash your hands.

e. Procedure for a Patient Unable to Brush His Teeth. Following is the procedure for providing mouth care for a patient unable to brush his teeth.

(1) Proceed as in paragraph 1-12c above except that all steps are done for the patient.

(2) Finish the mouth cleansing with a gentle brushing of the tongue from back to front, and with a thorough final rinsing.

(3) The patient's teeth should be flossed at least weekly.

 

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015