Brushing and flossing every day are some of the most important things as far as dental care is concerned. However, not everybody can brush and floss his or her teeth effectively. Here are three examples of groups of people who may need help with this activity:
Many aged people battle with gum recession, increased teeth sensitivity, dry mouth, and tooth loss (often handled by dentures or bridges). If you have an aged loved one, then these complications mean that you need to pay special attention to his or her oral health.
Matters are complicated by reduced dexterity (perhaps due to arthritis) in old age, which means your loved one may find it difficult to brush or floss regularly and efficiently. Give your loved one an electric flosser if his or her hands are unsteady. If he or she prefers the traditional floss, then give him or her nylon fiber floss because these will fill the relatively bigger spaces between his or her teeth.
The Mentally Disabled
People with mental or intellectual disabilities find it difficult to perform daily activities, such as brushing and flossing, which others take for granted. For serious impairment, your loved one may need the help of a trained caregiver to help maintain his or her oral health. For a relatively mild mental disability, the main problem occurs when introducing the child to brushing.
Make the introduction smooth by:
- Introducing him or her to brushing and flossing using wet gauze wrapped around your finger
- Sweetening (in the beginning) the brushing material as an incentive
- Starting with the back teeth since they tend to be less sensitive
- Giving him or her a soft-bristled toothbrush
After some time, your loved one will learn to brush on his or her own. Note that electric toothbrushes may trigger seizures in children with seizure disorders, so you shouldn't use them without a dentist's consultation.
The Physically Disabled
Some people also have physical disabilities that make it difficult for them to brush or floss their teeth. Depending on his or her disability, your loved one may find it difficult to stand at the sink or hold the toothbrush. The specific care depends on the physical disability your loved one is battling with. Generally, you can help by:
- Recognizing that the bathroom isn't the only he or she can brush his or her teeth. If he or she can't make it to the bathroom with ease, then you can bring the dental instruments (toothpaste, water, brush and other necessary things) to him or her
- Providing ergonomic toothbrushes
- Helping him or her to hold the brush
- Providing an electric toothbrush
Everybody needs dental care irrespective of their health status or age. Apart from home care, make sure that you also organize for regular checkups with the dentist such as someone from Wayne Pediatric Dental Care.