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CNA Skill | Providing Mouth Care

One of the tasks that certified nursing assistants will have to learn during training is how to properly provide mouth care.  This is one of the skills that could be on the state CNA exam.  Oral care includes the cleansing of the mouth and gums and the teeth or dentures. Dental hygiene is very important in those who can’t correctly do it themselves, especially the elderly and disabled who may have weak hand grips. 

Good oral hygiene not only is to keep the mouth and teeth clean it prevents infections makes food have an improved taste and reduces the rise of periodontal disease.

There are some medications and illnesses that can cause the mouth to become dry, red and produce swelling.  Gloves should always be worn when providing any type of mouth care.  The mouth is known to carry microbes and blood borne illnesses.

Steps to Provide Mouth Care

  • Explain the procedure, speak clearly and slowly
  • Provide Privacy by drawing curtain closed
  • Raise head of bed to 75-90 degrees
  • Properly Wash Hands thoroughly
  • Put on gloves
  • Clothing protector placed across the chest
  • Moisten toothbrush – apply toothpaste
  • Start by Cleaning the mouth and then the tongue
  • Provide water to completely rinse out the mouth
  • Hold emesis basin and direct client to spit
  • Wipe mouth gently and remove the clothing protector
  • Empty and rinse out the wash basin – rinse and dry toothbrush
  • Remove gloves
  • Place Call bell within reach
  • Wash hands

When you start working as a CNA it is important that you let the person whom your providing mouth care to do as much as possible.  A certified nursing assistant should never get in the way of a persons independence.