Nursing Beyond the Vital SignsNursing Beyond the Vital Signs

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Nursing Beyond the Vital Signs

Nursing is so much more than simply popping a thermometer in a patient's mouth or recording a blood pressure. In my time as a nurse, I have participated in life saving efforts when time was critical, I have held a mother's hands when her newborn baby was being prepped for surgery, and I have looked into the terrified eyes of an elderly person in pain. Nurses literally go into battle, serving in military operations all over the world. They also learn and implement the latest in medical technology. This blog is to highlight nurses and prove that they deserve respect and appreciation for all that they do.

3 Tips to Prevent Oral Thrush as a Senior Citizen

Oral thrush, which is basically a yeast infection of the mouth, can happen to anyone. However, senior citizens can actually be more prone to dealing with this problem because of their dentures and because of health issues, such as diabetes, that can be common in older people. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent this problem.

1. Keep Dentures Clean

Seniors who wear dentures can be particularly prone to oral thrush. One good way to help prevent this from happening is to make sure that you keep your dentures nice and clean. You should be removing your dentures a couple of times a day to clean them thoroughly, which can be done with just soap and water. At nighttime, give your mouth a chance to "rest" from wearing the dentures by soaking your dentures in a container of denture solution, which can also help get them clean.

2. Rinse Your Mouth Regularly

Additionally, you will want to make sure that you rinse your mouth out thoroughly on a regular basis. This is a critical step because it helps flush debris and germs out of your mouth. Plain, cold water should work fine, but if you'd like to really focus on killing bacteria and freshening up your mouth, you can use your favorite mouthwash when rinsing.

3. Take Care of Your Diabetes

Are you a diabetic? If so, you could be at a higher risk of developing oral thrush because of the additional sugar that can be found in your saliva, which can promote thrush growth. However, just because you have diabetes does not mean that you have to resign yourself to this problem. Making sure that you take good care of yourself -- such as by monitoring your insulin levels, eating a proper diabetic-friendly diet and seeing your doctor as recommended -- can help you avoid oral thrush and can help with your overall health as well.

Even though many senior citizens experience oral thrush in their lifetimes, this does not have to happen to you. If you follow these tips, you can help keep yourself safe from oral thrush. If you do notice signs of having it, such as having a bad taste in your mouth, bad breath or a white  tongue, then make sure that you see your doctor immediately so that he or she can help you get the proper treatment for the problem.