Getting your husband to visit the dentist is a challenge that can be overcome.
First, find a dentist in your health plan who is willing to work with a person with Alzheimer’s.
Not all dentists are interested. My dentist welcomed visits from my father as he wanted to learn how to work with people with dementia.
Second, see if your dentist and his/her hygienists are flexible to take a last- minute appointment should your husband be open to going.
Third, if your husband is still interested in you, ask him if he can help you enjoy him more if he gets his teeth taken care of.
This assumes he still wants to please you and is feeling less depressed.
Fourth, be with him at the dentist’s office and remind him why he’s there.
Keep reminding him gently during the appointment in case he grows agitated. Motivate him with what he sees as a FUN reward--ice cream seems to be popular. Is there anything else he finds rewarding?
Each person is different.
My father wanted to make sure I felt comfortable with him. He wanted to please me. So, when I gently reminded him that his breath was bad, he cooperated by doing what I asked, "You need to brush your teeth. I want your breath to be fresh so I can get close enough to whisper in your ear."
Other times, I told him brushing his teeth and going to the dentist were for his own good. Sometimes, he agreed when I told him the dentist needed him because he was such a good patient and helped the dentist learn how to work with those who have Alzheimer's.
Finally, remember that your husband does NOT need to have his teeth cleaned after every meal.
Although ideal (and don't show this to my dentist!), I don’t even brush after every meal! When I do brush each evening before bed, I do so thoroughly.
Brushing sometimes is better than not brushing at all. Catch your husband when he’s receptive. He can’t be an ogre 24-hours a day. If he is, I'll start sending you lots of hugs!