DENTAL HEALTH TIPS FOR THE HANDICAPPED
Dental health is an essential part of general body health. Dental health may be disregarded besides other health problems of the handicapped. Therefore, the handicapped patients are at a high risk of having dental problems. It’s of great importance that they are dentally taken care of. Chewing problems are common among the handicapped. A a special care for their dietary habits is necessary. A reduction in consumption of food with sugar and carbohydrate is important. The handicapped who are supposed to consume mash-like soft and sticky food are at a high risk of getting tooth decays.
Each lost tooth is followed by major problems. Tooth loss, speaking and chewing problems may decrease the learning abilities. Most of the patients don’t tend to use prosthesis or apparatus. A lot of complications are likely to happen during the procedures with the handicapped. Therefore, it’s essential to use preventive treatment to avoid tooth decay.
It’s necessary that the handicapped patients be presented with well-equipped clinics for the sake of both the patients’ and the dentists’ comfort. It’s the first condition that the dental chair is well adjusted and the handicapped patient is comfortably seated. It would make the handicapped patient feel secure if the dental chair is adjustable, well-equipped and the patient is well-seated prior to the procedure.
Daily dental care is essential to prevent dental problems especially from children.
As soon as the teeth appear to come out, they need to be cleaned with a cloth between meals. After age 2, a dental care with a small and soft toothbrush is necessary. It’s also necessary to brush the tongue to prevent bad breath. Special 3-face toothbrushes and electric tooth brushes are recommended for easy use.
SOME TIPS FOR TOOTHBRUSHING
You can brush your child’s teeth in any room with efficient light. For example, if your child is on a wheelchair, the kitchen and the bathroom could be proper places for toothbrushing. If your child is in bed, you could brush his/her teeth by lifting up his/her head , you can make his/her rinse using a glass or drinking straw and spit into a bowl. The best place for toothbrushing is where your child feel comfortable and you believe is the best.
You can brush your child’s teeth in several positions. It’s very important that you support your child’s head, keep the tongue away with the help of fingers; also your position of sight and handskills during toothbrushing are important. Stand behind the wheelchair. Use you arm or chest to support your child’s head and brush his/her teeth or sit behind the wheelchair. After checking the brakes of the wheelchair, lower the wheelchair to your knees slightly and brush the teeth.In the sitting position, make your child sit on the flor and you, too sit on a chair behind your child.
Let the child lie his/her head towards your knees. If he/she’s being difficult, you can use your legs to stable his/her hands. Let the child lie. Place a pillow under his/her head and brush his/her teeth with the support of your knees and hands.
If he/she is in bed, lie your child on your knees. Brush his/her teeth with the support of your hands on his/her head. If your child continues to be difficult, then you can brush his/her teeth with the help of a second person. Do not forget that no matter in what position you brush your child’s teeth, you should make sure his/her head is supported. Pay attention that the brush is adapted. You may thicken the handle of the toothbrush with materials such as tennisballs or bicycle handles in children with lower gripping abilities. Electric toothbrushes can be recommended to the children who cannot use normal toothbrushes. Pay attention to these following brushing techniques; place the toothbrush to the point where teeth and gums join together with a 45-degree angle. Brush the tooth surfaces with back and forth movements without overcompressing. Brush the upper jaw first. Brush the buccal sides, then the palate and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Do the same for the lower jaw. Make sure every single tooth is brushed. Brush the back surfaces of front teeth with back and forth movements. It’s necessary to brush the tongue for fresh breath.
To avoid the tooth decay, daily dental care, a 6 months periodical visit to a dentist are required. Periodical dental recalls help early diagnosis of the potential problems.