Struggles Arthritis Can Bring to Brushing or Flossing
Posted on 11/9/2020 by Dr. Saklofsky
Being afflicted with arthritis can cause even the simplest of tasks to be a struggle, and dental care is no exception. Arthritis in the hands causes problems gripping and squeezing Although you may be tempted to forgo day to day dental care because of the pain and suffering it causes, this can cause long term problems and discomfort.
Problems and Solutions for Dental Issues
Arthritis can cause several problems with day to day dental care. One of the biggest is gripping both toothbrushes and dental floss. There are a few solutions to these issues. First, an electric toothbrush helps in a couple of ways. First, it has a larger handle that is easier for those affected with arthritis to hold on to. The second way this helps is that the toothbrush itself does the actual work rather than needing to make small movements that could cause flare ups for arthritis sufferers.
If you prefer to use a manual toothbrush, another option is to wrap the handle of the toothbrush with a rag or some other soft object. This can also be done with an electric toothbrush to ease your discomfort even further.
One final way you can ease discomfort while brushing is to brush while seated. This will allow you to rest your elbow on the counter for additional support. A last issue with brushing is the action of squeezing the toothpaste out of the tube. If you experience discomfort from this, the easiest solution is to put the tube down on the counter and press down on it to dispense it onto the brush.
For issues with flossing, there are a couple solutions as well. First, rather than using standard string floss on your fingers, use a handheld flosser. These range from the small interdental models, to long handled units with disposable flossing ends. A second option is to do away with string flossers altogether and instead use an electric flosser that uses water or mouthwash to eliminate plaque and bacteria without the use of traditional floss. Contact our office to see what your best option is. We are always here to help!
Although there can be discomfort from day to day dental care, do not neglect it. These and other actions can make it easier on you and allow you to maintain good dental hygiene. Please contact our office to discuss your concerns with these or other issues you may be experiencing.