Oral Care Items to Keep Your Loved One’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

Chad Birt

Written by Chad Birt on Wed May 17 2023.

Men. Brushing teeth.

One of the most important things you can do as a family caregiver is to ensure your loved ones practice good oral hygiene. Regularly brushing and flossing your loved one’s teeth and visiting the dentist for oral exams and teeth cleanings can reduce the risk of problems like cavities, gum disease, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). 

Here at Carewell, we’re committed to making your job as a caregiver a little easier. That’s why we stock all the essential items you might need, including oral care products. This article recognizes some of our most popular dental items and highlights their key benefits and features.

What Are Oral Care Products?

Oral care products protect the teeth and gums from plaque, tartar, and harmful bacteria. They can also be used to clean or help hold dentures in place.

Though good oral hygiene is vital at any age, it’s especially crucial for seniors. After 65, it’s common to experience dry mouth (xerostomia), severe gum disease (periodontitis), and bad breath. Fortunately, with the right products on hand, you can address these issues and make it easier for your loved one to bite, chew, and speak. 

How We Chose the Products in These Oral Care Products

The items featured in this round-up are a mix of our “highest-rated” and “best-selling” oral care products. Under each entry, we’ve included real customer or user feedback with the header:  Hear it from a Caregiver.

Oral Care Products to Keep Your Loved One’s Teeth and Gums Healthy

1) Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste

The Colgate brand is synonymous with healthy smiles. The American Dental Association approves this cavity protection formula which contains fluoride to strengthen and protect the tooth enamel. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Cleans teeth thoroughly

  • Freshens breath

  • Fights back against plaque and tartar

  • Great regular flavor

Hear it from a caregiver

“I know Mom use[s] this toothpaste a lot. I can’t see her, but I wanted to [help] provide for her care. She is so conscious of keeping her teeth clean, even at 97, that I had to make sure she had what was needed.”

- Anita G.

Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste, 151105-EA1, 1 oz., Each
Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste

Price: $1.06 - $28.49

2) McKesson Oral Foam Swabstick, Dentifrice

Consider these oral foam swabs if your loved one can’t use a toothbrush. Each swab comes individually packaged and contains dentifrice –– a powder that helps remove plaque and clean teeth. The soft and secure foam heads are gentle on the gums but capable of accessing hard-to-reach areas. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • For gentle, effective oral cleaning

  • Single-use and disposable

  • Cleans between the teeth, removing debris and oral secretions

  • Each swabstick has a five-inch (5”) handle

McKesson Oral Foam Swabstick, Dentifrice
McKesson Oral Foam Swabstick, Dentifrice

Price: $9.57 - $157.34

3) Listerine Mouthwash

Mouthwash doesn’t receive the same attention as toothpaste and dental floss, but it’s an excellent compliment to any preventive dental care routine. Rinsing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing supports optimal oral health. It eliminates the bacteria responsible for gum disease, freshens the breath, and helps remineralize the teeth. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Alcohol-free formula

  • Refreshing, less intense clean mint flavor

  • 3.2 fl. Oz approved for air travel

Hear it from a caregiver

“These little bottles of mouthwash come in so handy. They are small enough that my elderly mother can handle them on her own. They are also a good size to fit inside the medicine cabinet in her assisted living bathroom.”

- Mary C.

Hear it from a caregiver

“These are nicely sized and very well priced. They are also lightweight. My mom doesn’t have a lot of room on her counter at her assisted living apartment and these work very well for her.”

- Sheila P. 

Listerine Mouthwash

Price: $3.99 - $29.99

4) Dr. Berland’s Cleanden Denture and Gum Cleaning Paste

Make sure to keep Cleanadent denture and gum cleaning paste in your medicine cabinet if your loved one wears full-arch bridges, traditional, or implant-supported dentures. 

The proprietary formula contains aloe vera, coconut oil, and vitamins that help moisturize the mouth and reduce irritation. Gentle and effective, Cleanadent doesn’t have chlorine, bleach, or other abrasive materials. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Capable of removing adhesive off dentures and gums

  • Contains a mixture of vitamins A, D, and E

  • Comes in a 4 oz. bottle

5) Toothette Oral Care Perox-A-Mint Solution Oral Debriding Agent

This peroxide-based mouthwash from Toothette is formulated to keep your loved one’s mouth healthy and bacteria-free. It comes in a 1.5 oz. bottle perfect for travel. 

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Mint flavor

  • Contains 1.5% hydrogen peroxide to fight infection

  • Easy to use

6) Dynarex Denture Cleaner Tablet

Cleaning and caring for dentures is time-consuming but necessary. These disposable tablets can help speed up the process. Fused with an antibacterial solution, they eradicate harmful bacteria, prevent stains, and keep your loved one’s breath fresh.

Key Benefits & Features:

  • Individually wrapped

  • Dissolves tough stains that brushing can’t eliminate

  • Removes food particles that cause gum irritation

Hear it from a caregiver

“These denture cleaners are fantastic and the price is great too!”

- Abigail M. 

Dynarex Denture Cleaner Tablet
Dynarex Denture Cleaner Tablet

Price: $9.00

How to Choose Oral Care Products

Before selecting an oral care product, think about the following things:

  • Ingredients: Does your loved one have any allergies or sensitivities? If so, make sure to read the entire ingredient list. For example, toothpaste, mouthwashes, and denture cleaners rarely contain allergens, but it’s good to make sure, just in case.  

  • Natural teeth or dentures: Many older adults have dentures, dental implants, or fixed bridges. These appliances often require special care. Conversely, if your loved one still has most or all of their teeth, it’s important to know how to maintain them. Talk to your loved one’s dentist if you have any questions.

  • Oral health: Certain oral health problems, like dry mouth and gum disease, require prescription products or more specialized care. As mentioned above, we recommend touching base with your loved one’s dentist.

  • User: Is your loved one using the product on their own, or will you be helping them? The answer to this question can help you narrow your options down.

Commonly Asked Questions

1) How can I remove the denture adhesive left in my loved one’s mouth?

If your loved one wears dentures, it’s normal for some adhesive to remain on their gums whenever they take the appliance out. 

A product like Dr. Berland’s Cleanden denture and gum cleaning paste makes removing the buildup easily. It contains vitamins A, D, and E and aloe to reduce irritation and moisturize the mouth.

2) Do seniors need fluoride in their toothpaste?

Many dentists encourage people 65 and older to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral often added to public water sources. It strengthens the enamel reducing the risk of tooth decay. 

3) How often should older adults visit the dentist?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that everyone, regardless of age, participate in regular dental visits. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to undergo an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning every six months. But if your loved one has oral health problems, more frequent checkups may be necessary. 

Takeaways

As a family caregiver, you play an essential role in keeping your loved one’s smile healthy. Stocking your medicine cabinet with high-quality oral care products, including toothpaste, mouthwash, and denture cream, can prevent cavities and gum disease and enhance your loved one’s quality of life. 

Have Questions?

Interested in learning more about the products featured in this round-up? Reach out at any time! Our Caregiving Specialists speak English and Spanish and are ready to assist. Call (800) 696-CARE or email support@carewell.com.

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Chad Birt
Chad Birt

Chad Birt is a freelance medical writer who resides in Astoria, Oregon. When he isn't behind a keyboard, you can find him hiking, camping, or birdwatching with his wife Ella and their two dogs, Diane and Thoreau.