Helping A Loved With A Disability Brush Their Teeth

If you have a loved one struggling with disability, you will do them a great deal of good by helping with their dental hygiene. Some health conditions make it difficult to brush the teeth, but everybody benefits from regular teeth brushing. Here are a few useful tips to help you help your loved one brush their teeth:

Position Yourself Properly

You need to position yourself so that you can brush your loved one's teeth effectively without giving them any pain or blocking the light. Standing or sitting behind the person are some of the positions recommended for caregivers. You won't block the light in those positions, and you can use one hand to support your loved one's head and tilt it up as you use the other arm to brush.

Observe a High Degree of Hygiene

You don't want to spread germs to your loved one and make them even sicker, and neither do you want to get sick. Prevent the spread of germs by washing your hands thoroughly and wearing disposable gloves before starting the task.

Use the "Tell-Show-Do" Steps

The "tell-show-do" approach is a good way of ensuring that your loved one is calm throughout the process because they know exactly what you are doing at any stage. This is especially necessary if you suspect your loved one may feel some pain or discomfort as you help them. The first step is to tell them what you are about to do, for example, if you are about to brush tongue. After that, show them the motions to expect from the toothbrush. Lastly, do exactly what you have described since a deviation may startle your loved one and cause an injury.

Keep Talking Throughout the Procedure

It may be helpful to talk to your loved one gently throughout the procedure. Apart from explaining what you are about to do for each step, you can also give words of encouragement or appreciate how they are holding up their head properly. Take your time and expect to take more than the recommended two minutes for teeth brushing. That time limit is only suitable if you are brushing your own teeth and don't have the difficulties to be expected from a sick person or a person with disabilities.

In addition to helping your loved one with dental hygiene, don't forget to organize regular dental checkups for them. A dentist, such as David Jackson, DDS, will identify and correct dental problems that you may not be able to handle. They will also educate you on further ways of helping your loved one maintain healthy teeth.