Support for oral hygiene
For patients able to self-care, advise them that twice a day they should use a soft toothbrush (or a piece of soft stick or clean cloth if a toothbrush cannot be obtained; see Figure 30.2) to gently brush their teeth, tongue, palate and gums to remove debris. Use toothpaste if affordable and available. Rinse the mouth with diluted salt water after eating and at bedtime (usually three to four times daily). For patients who cannot do this for themselves, tell the caregivers to provide oral care to the patient two to three times every day, as described above.