NPO, or nil per os, is also known as ‘nothing by mouth’, and is a medical instruction meaning to withhold fluids and food. It is an instruction directed to patients with weak swallowing musculature, or those undergoing the prevention of aspiration pneumonia, among other issues that a doctor may find necessary to recommend this instruction against. So what are some of the oral care procedures for such patients? Our resident Hornsby dentists from Piazza Dental shared some information regarding the necessary procedures on providing dental care to dependent patients, even the tools needed to follow the oral care protocol for NPO patients
Oral care tools
-Toothbrush and swabs (all in suction if available),
-Chlorhexidine, a doctor may prescribe that you use it from a medicine cup
-Yankauer oral suction
-Extra toothettes or swabs to apply moisturizer and mouthwash
1.Sit the patient in an upright and elevated position to help avert aspiration during the oral care/mouth cleaning procedure.
2.Explore the patient’s mouth
-This includes inspecting the lip,cheeks,gums,teeth, mouth roof,mucosa floor, and even the tongue.
-Check the degree of saliva pooling. Is there excess secretion?
-Note any debris for example bleeding,food,edema,coating,dryness,redness, e.t.c
3. Rid the mouth of the debris and any other loose material
-Use the Yankauer oral solution to remove the debris.The suction swab will help remove as much loose material as possible
-Proceed to scrub the gum, roof of the mouth and the tongue
-You also can apply 1.5% Hydrogen Peroxide to improve the mechanical action during the removal of the debris
4. Brush the teeth using a suction toothbrush and toothpaste
These will help alleviate the risk of aspiration of contaminated debris,saliva and water.For dentures, remove gently,brush and rinse thoroughly.Proceed to soak the dentures overnight.
Brush the teeth in circular motions and at a 45 degrees angle to gum line in order to remove plaque buildup.
Also remember to brush the tongue.
5. Thoroughly rinse the mouth using clean and moist toothette or suction swab and Yankauer oral solution.
Dip the toothette into an oral rinse and mouthwash.The mouthwash contains o.05% Cetylpyridinium Chloride,which acts as a very powerful and effective anti-fungal and anti-bacterial..When used,this mouthwash prevents infections and plaque.
7. Apply a water-based mouth and lip moisturizer inside the mouth
Use a toothette and a gloved fingure to do this.Such moisturizers speed up tissue healing. All the aforementioned steps, make the oral care protocol for npo patients that’s why it’s very important to follow them.