Basic dental care involves brushing and flossing your teeth often, seeing your dentist and dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings, and eating a mouth-healthy diet, which means foods high in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and dairy products. Taking care of someone with a developmental incapacity needs patience and ability. As a caregiver, you know this as well as anyone does. You also know how challenging it is to help that person with dental care. It takes planning, time, and the ability to manage physical, mental, and behavioral problems. Dental care isn't always easy, but you can make it work for you and the person you help. This booklet will show you how to help someone brush, floss, and have a healthy mouth. Everyone needs dental care every day. Brushing and flossing are crucial activities that affect our health. In fact, dental care is just as important to your client's health and daily routine as taking medications and getting physical exercise. A healthy mouth helps people eat well, avoid pain and tooth loss, and feel good about them.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by plaque, a sticky combination of bacteria and food. Plaque begins to build up on teeth within 20 minutes after eating. If teeth is not cleaned well every day, plaque will cause tooth decay. If you do not remove plaque, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that becomes trapped at the base of the tooth. Plaque and tartar irritate and inflame the gums. Bacteria and the toxins they yield cause the gums to become infected, swollen and tender. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can help prevent problems such as tooth decay and gum diseases like periodontitis. You should also teach your children how to brush and floss from an early age to help them protect their teeth. Regular teeth cleaning by a dentist removes plaque that may develop, even with careful brushing and flossing. This is very important for getting at areas that are hard to reach on your own. Professional cleaning includes scaling and polishing. This procedure uses instruments to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. Routine exams may include dental x-rays. Your dentist can catch problems early, so they do not become more serious and expensive to fix.
What kind of toothbrush you should use and how to brush your teeth well. Ask if an electronic tooth brush is right for you. Electronic tooth brushes have been shown to clean teeth better than manual toothbrushes. Healthy teeth are clean and have no cavities. Healthy gums are pink and firm. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush 2 minutes each time. Use fluoride toothpaste. The fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and helps prevent tooth decay. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or sooner if needed. Care your teeth and be free from teeth problems.