CNA training prepares you with the knowledge and experience you need to perform many different skills in the workplace. One of the skills you will learn during CNA training and use almost every day is cleaning and caring for your patient’s dentures. This skill is very important, because if dentures are not cleaned often and properly cared for, your patients may be subject to infections in their mouths. These infections are often difficult to treat and can last for quite a while.
The following are a few CNA training tips on how to care for a patient’s dentures.
After CNA Training: Denture Care
Before you clean a patient’s dentures, make sure you wash your hands properly, like you learned during CNA training, put on gloves, and greet the patient. Explain that you need to assist them in cleaning their dentures. If your patient can, have them remove their own dentures and hand them to you. If they are not, let them know you can help them remove the dentures by staring with the uppers and gently wiggling the dentures up and down until the seal is broken. NEVER REACH INTO YOUR PATIENT’S MOUTH WITHOUT TELLING THEM EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING. That’s just a good way to get your finger bitten.
Once you have the dentures in your hands after CNA training, follow these tips.
- Carry the dentures over to the sink and line the bottom of the sink with one or two washcloths. This is an important part of performing the skill. As you learned in CNA training, dentures can be very slippery when wet, and they are also very expensive. If you drop them into a stainless steel or porcelain sink, they will most likely crack and you will be responsible for replacing them.
- Fill the sink halfway with warm water, but do not put the dentures in the water. Using a toothbrush, or a special denture brush, clean the dentures with either denture cleaner or toothpaste. Brush them as you would your own teeth, and make sure to care for the areas of the dentures that touch the roof of the mouth and gums.
- When you are done brushing, rinse the upper denture thoroughly and place them in a cup of cool water. Repeat the process for the lower denture as well.
- When cleaning your patient’s dentures after CNA training, you should also care for the patient’s mouth. Providing proper oral care with mouthwash and sponge swabs can help prevent infections, and can give you a chance to look at the mouth for any issues, like lesions or swelling. If you find these problems, do not put the dentures back in and speak to your nurse immediately.
- After the dentures and your patient’s mouth are completely clean, you can reinsert the dentures, applying dental adhesive as necessary, as long as the patient isn’t going to bed. Never let your patients wear their dentures in bed. Their mouth needs time without the dentures to breathe.
Helping Your Patients Clean Their Dentures After CNA Training is Important
Denture cleaning should occur every day, even if you don’t have a lot of time with your busy hall schedule. Without proper denture care after your CNA training, your patients can suffer from tart and plaque buildup, gum irritation, yeast infections of the mouth, and bad breath. More serious infections can also occur. Make sure you take the time to clean their dentures after meals and before bed each and every day after CNA training.