When Brushing is a struggle
Do you know where to go for help or advice if you need to help anyone with their oral care? Your dentist will be willing to help so please do ask for their assistance. We’ve recently talked to the Oral Health Improvement Coordinator in Bucks, Kathryn Kerr. She’s passionate about ensuring individuals can maintain good dental hygiene. Keeping mouths clean can limit pain as well as potentially prolong life.
However, she knows that many individuals require assistance for many different reasons. Sometimes, those with additional needs, dementia or those experiencing palliative care or other treatment find brushing teeth a particular challenge. There are a range of aids such as dental shields which hold the mouth open to allow a toothbrush into the mouth. Some people find it easier to bite down on something rather than trying to keep their mouth open themselves. A specialised brush such as Dr Barman’s Superbrush may help as it’s designed to clean several tooth surfaces at once. You can also buy specially formulated toothpaste and gels to moisturise dry mouths or non-minty toothpaste for those who find that an issue. One specialist website recommended by Kathryn is www.dentocare.co.uk.
Bucks Priority Dental Service (BPDS) can offer appointments to those with additional needs if they are unable to obtain dental care from a local dentist. A referral can be made by a dentist, GP or health or social care worker. Alternatively, a carer or parent could complete a referral form. Please contact the service on 0844 225411 if you would like more information.
If you are looking after someone living with dementia you may also find the “Dental care and oral health” page on the Alzheimer’s Society website useful Alzheimer’s Society