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Caring for Your Teeth when You Have Mobility Issues

Posted on 5/30/2016 by Mark Bieber
An elderly woman with limited mobility receiving a dental exam.If someone you love has mobility issues due to rheumatoid arthritis or another medical condition, it may be difficult for him to properly care for his teeth.

Fortunately, there are a variety of assistive devices out there that can help depending on what issue he is living with.

Limited Range of Motion

If your loved one isn't able to reach his mouth with his hands or arms due to limited range of motion, consider an extended handle for his toothbrush. You can make one on your own by attaching a wooden spoon or even a ruler to the end of his toothbrush.

Problems Bending the Wrist or Elbow

If your loved one is having a hard time bending at the wrist or elbow, it can be extremely hard for him to get the brush to his mouth and to move it around enough to thoroughly clean the teeth.

One possible option is to use a toothbrush with a compact head, or you could bend an angle into his toothbrush by heating it until it becomes pliable. Some options are also available commercially, and they are designed to help people with mobility issues to better clean all of the tooth surfaces.

Decreased Grip Strength

Does your loved one have a hard time grasping his toothbrush because it is too small or too narrow? A common technique for overcoming this problem is to attach a tennis ball to the end of the toothbrush, as this will provide him with more surface area to grab onto.

If you notice that your loved one is starting to have a hard time taking care of his teeth due to some mobility issues, it might be time to contact our office. His dentist can help to find the assistive device that will help to keep your loved one's teeth healthy despite physical limitations.

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I continue to be impressed with every aspect of dental care and service at your office. Everyone is wonderful and makes me feel important, valued, and respected as a patient; everything is explained in detail.
-Shelley D.
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