During CNA training, you’ll learn a great deal about oral hygiene and how to perform skills related to this subject for your patients. As I’ve seen in the facilities I’ve worked in, however, not every CNA understands the importance of this task. Too many times, dentures are left untouched at the end of the day and mouth care is ignored because CNAs are too rushed to get things done. This isn’t the way it should be.
Oral hygiene is important. It’s directly related to cardiac disease, acute MI, blood sugar control, comfort, dietary consumption, ability to communicate, systemic infections, and the overall well-being of your patients after CNA training. No matter how old your patients get, taking care of their mouth and teeth is essential. When their mouths are healthy, they can more easily eat the food that their body needs to function. They’ll look better when they’re talking, smiling, and laughing as well, boosting their self confidence.
As a CNA, it’s up to you to make sure that every resident you care for receive proper oral care after CNA training. Here’s how.
Oral Care After CNA Training
Denture Care- Patients who have dentures need to be evaluated often to ensure their dentures aren’t ill-fitting or loose. If they are, you’ll need to bring this up to the nurse in charge of your unit after CNA training. Loose and poor fitting dentures can cause many problems. Patients will need to see a dentist before they end up with painful sores in their mouths.
Dentures are made out of a resin that has microscopic pockets that can become contaminated throughout the day, collecting bacteria and food particles. Because of this, infection can set in if they are not cleaned properly. After CNA training, it will be essential that you:
- Rinse the dentures out after every single meal
- Use a denture brush to brush the dentures
- Brush the dentures for two minutes, two times a day
- Make sure the dentures are removed at night and soaked in a proper denture cleaner
Brushing- Patients without dentures or with partial dentures need to brush their teeth two times a day for at least two minutes each time. This has been shown in studies to reduce plaque and prevent the decay of teeth. It has also been shown to reduce diseases like gingivitis.
Flossing- Flossing is an important habit you need to instill in your patients after CNA training. Flossing daily helps to remove the food particles between a patients teeth that might not be caught with a toothbrush. This is important, as these particles can create plaque, which in turn can result in cavities if not taken care of it. It can also lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Rinse- Mouthwashes with anti-microbial properties can help to strengthen your patients’ oral wellbeing after CNA training. They can also help to prevent gingivitis.
CNA Training Skills: Oral Care
Keep in mind that a patient’s teeth only account for half of their mouth. It’s important for you to address every part of it after CNA training. Make sure you are paying attention to any changes that occur as well. Sores, foul smelling breath, and complaints of pain should be addressed immediately and reported after CNA training.