Having Trouble Brushing and Flossing Because of Joint Pain?

These simple solutions will help you maintain oral health when dealing with injury, arthritis, or sore joints.

Trouble Brushing and Flossing

Are you suffering from arthritis or swollen, stiff joints? Is your oral hygiene suffering because dental care tasks are more difficult than they were before?

At My Family Dentistry, we can offer many simple suggestions to help you with your oral care routine. Sometimes, modifying everyday items can be a simple way to keep your dental hygiene up to par even when the rest of your body isn’t. We suggest the following: 

Having trouble opening the toothpaste lid?

Those tiny pesky lids can be hard to open, even for agile hands. We suggest looking for a toothpaste that has a flip-off top instead of a screw-on top. Crest Pro-Health is a product that has an easy-to-open lid. Another option is to cut a small hole in a stress ball and place the toothpaste lid in the opening. Since stress balls have a little “give” the lid can be grasped and opened.  

Toothbrush handle too small to grasp?

One of the best products to use when dexterity is an issue is a power toothbrush. We recommend a Sonicare toothbrush. The handle is larger than a traditional manual brush, and it is also more forgiving when it comes to technique. Another option is to make the toothbrush handle wider; this can be done by securing pipe insulator, a pool noodle, or even a cloth around the brush. Just make the width correspond to your hand size.  You can even attach the toothbrush to your hand so you don’t have to grasp it at all.  This can be done by using a rubber band or a Velcro attachment. 

Flossing an issue?

Flossing your teeth is often one of the first things to go when a person is dealing with decreased dexterity.  Don’t let this happen to you!  Floss holders with extended handles are a great option when traditional flossing isn’t possible.  

But what if range of motion is the problem?

All the other suggestions are great if you can get your hand pretty close to your mouth. But what if that just isn’t possible? You may need an extender on your toothbrush.  Something stiff such as a dowel rod or short ruler attached to a toothbrush handle may do the trick for you.

Hopefully, these suggestions will provide you with some creative ideas to keep your oral hygiene in check even when you’re experiencing some other physical difficulties. If injuries or disabilities are further impacting your oral hygiene, be sure to consult your dental team for more specific solutions and treatment plans.

Do you have any other issues related to dexterity we can help address? Let us know in the comments!

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