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Oral Hygiene Aids for Disabled
Staying on top of oral hygiene is important. Dental problems such as gingivitis and tooth loss are more common when the mouth is not properly cared for. This means teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and flossed nightly, and a dentist should be visited regularly. However, this can be difficult for people with a physical and/or mental disability. Thankfully, there are a few different things that can be done to make it easier.
Oral hygiene aids
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, some hygiene aids can aid with brushing teeth, flossing and general oral hygiene. Aids can be beneficial for those with dexterity, memory or sensory issues.
Some toothbrushes are better able to reach all of the teeth than others. A curved toothbrush may make it easier for the patient to reach all areas of the mouth. Whether the person is able to brush their own teeth or a caregiver does it, a toothbrush with a curve can offer a better variety of angles to do a more thorough job.
A battery-powered toothbrush can help save the patient some work by spinning on its own. These toothbrushes often rotate faster than a regular toothbrush can be brushed, and many are equipped with a timer to help ensure that the patient brushes long enough.
For those who face dexterity challenges, a floss holder may be beneficial. Something like a floss pick can make it possible to floss with one hand and without having to hold the floss, which may be slippery and difficult to grip.
For someone who has memory issues, an alarm clock or reminder that helps them remember to brush their teeth can help the patient stay on top of things. These auditory reminders can prevent plaque buildup and bad breath by encouraging regular oral hygiene practices.
When dealing with bad breath or simply needing a quick way to freshen the breath, mouthwash is a good option. Many mouthwashes require the patient to spit it out after swishing around for 20-30 seconds, but there are safe-to-swallow options for those who may need that consideration.
Regular dental visits can help prevent oral health issues and can ensure a thorough cleaning. To ensure a more positive experience, the dentist’s office should be made aware of a patient’s disabilities ahead of time, according to WebMD.
Let the dentist know if the patient experiences anxiety or may have a behavior issue during the appointment. If there are physical challenges, inform the office of items or strategies that may help. Communicating can also help ensure that the dentist’s office sets enough time to treat the patient.
Dealing with a physical, emotional or mental disability can make some aspects of life more challenging, such as dental care. These oral hygiene aids may help make things easier. Remember to stay on top of keeping the teeth and mouth clean to prevent oral health issues down the road.
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