In most cases, people with disabilities have the same oral health needs as the general population and you can follow the age appropriate recommendations found in this web site.
Eat well – A nutritious diet including fruit, vegetables, grains and cereals, dairy, lean meat, fish and eggs is important. Highly processed foods and foods containing added sugars should be limited, especially between meals. If eating sweet or sticky foods, they are best eaten at meal times to reduce the chance of decay.
Clean well – Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day can help to control plaque build up. If possible, use dental floss to help clean between the teeth. In cases where manual tooth brushing is not possible (due to physical or other constraints), seek the advice of an oral health professional about recommended strategies. Regular checkups and cleaning by a dental professional can assist in preventing dental disease.
Drink plenty of tap water.
Sweet, sugary drinks such as fruit juices should be limited – especially between meals.
Fluoride protects teeth from decay and has beneficial effects throughout life. Using fluoride toothpaste and drinking tap water (especially in areas with fluoridated water supplies) will help protect teeth from decay.
Issues to consider – People with certain disabilities can be more at risk of oral disease due to:
Side-effects from medications (for example, ‘dry mouth’)
Difficulty in establishing and maintaining a regular dental care routine
Difficulties specific to the disability such as problems brushing teeth and flossing.
The above issues will need considered when establishing a dental care routine. The needs and preferences of each individual will be different so make sure you base your dental care routine on what is best for you.
What else you can do
View the dental advice within this web site for people in the relevant age group.
Establish a regular dental care routine morning and night.
If a dry mouth is experienced, ask an oral health professional about products that can stimulate the production of saliva. This will help prevent tooth decay.
Tell your oral health professional about any medications (including over-the-counter drugs) being taken and if there have been any changes in your medical history.
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