On Physical Disabilities and Oral Hygiene

Posted .

Whether you are a professional or family member, aiding someone with a physical disability usually means the development of certain talents, such as foresight and peace of mind. These traits can be developed as you help your client with their oral hygiene. Jamie P. Choi, DDS is pleased to give you some pointers.

Brushing Teeth:

Before you start, consider washing your hands before you start and even putting on disposable gloves. Assist your client as they settle into a reclining position, whether in a wheelchair or on a reclining chair. Stand or sit behind them so you can comfortably hold their head back and see their teeth. Brush each tooth in thoroughly on all sides. Then offer them a glass of water. They can then rinse and spit into a bowl. If they can’t swallow or rinse, use warm water instead of toothpaste.


Take an 18 inch piece of floss and wrap it around the thumb of one hand and the index finger of the other. Starting with the lower front teeth, gently pull it down into the crevices between each tooth. Use a new section of floss for each crevice to circumvent cross-contamination. Move to the upper front teeth and alternating arches, gradually work your way to the back until you have flossed between every tooth.

Going to the Dentist:

It’s important to visit our dentist office at least twice a year. If you predict that the first appointment might be frightening for your client, we can organize a non-intimidating “get-to-know-you” appointment. If you’d like, Dr. Jamie Choi or a member of our dental team can even give you and your client in-person pointers on how to brush and floss. Just ring our dental clinic in San Jose, California at 408-973-8500 today!