My spouse had a dentist appointment yesterday. It was not a good report. I did not think it would be that bad. How do most of you take care of your loved ones brushing of the teeth. I have taken over 90% of his hygiene. This is the one thing I feel uncomfortable about doing. I thought about getting him an electric one so that it could get the most scrubbing power. When I helped him brush tonight, he froze up a couple of times. I could not see what he was brushing while he was leaning over the sink. Maybe I need to talk to the hospice nurse about it. Get some ideas. Thanks for any advice.

22 Replies

  • power brush! We got one for B a couple months ago . His halitosis was incredible! However he could not apply the paste and I never seemed to get there on time. I asked my son to help me create a toothpaste dispenser. I could think of nothing that would work! So I finally got into the habit of getting the paste on the brush. The halitosis has reduced amazingly! AND my son found a paste dispenser and got iti for our Christmas present! takes some gettin used to....

    Did your mate have alot of cavities? Oh and I also got him mouthwash....

    Get the power brush, make sure he turns it on after it's in his mouth and tell him he has 16 surfaces and to count 5 or 10 seconds on each surface (3 surfaces for molars and 2 surfaces on incisors ).

    AVB :))

  • Here we are, going through the same things at the same time! My guy is going to the dentist next week. His gums bleed badly and I expect him to have a bad report, too. I asked my hygienist at my own appointment Monday what I could do, and she said to use the electric brush, which I had just found for him a few days back, and gave me some gloves to use while brushing for him, to protect my fingers from infection, plus some floss holders. So far I have only brushed for him once, as he has rallied and is back to doing it himself. Like you, I am not very comfortable with it, so I am glad to let him, as long as he can. I do apply the paste and get the brush in and started. Otherwise the paste whips off around the room!

    Good luck, and do please let me know if the nurse gives any good advice! Love, ec

  • I laughed when I read eastercedar's reply. C cleans his teeth in shower, suggested by friend after one too many falls crossing bathroom to sink. He holds grab bar, facing wall and I pass him brush with paste already on it. Yesterday he flicked the brush en route to his mouth and most of the paste landed on my specs! I cleaned them and later went out shopping while our cleaner kept an eye on him. Only when I got back from shopping did I look in mirror to see blob of toothpaste stuck to bridge of my nose! No-one in shops commented! Happy New Year to you all.

  • I have a hard time getting my husband to take a shower. I finally ask the hospice nurse to come once a week to give him one, and I try to convince him to take one half way between the time she comes. So, right now he gets 2 showers a week. That is a good idea to give him the brush while in the shower. I need to get out and find him a electric one.

  • Yess...and they can get expensive, I suggest you get a not-so-expensive as who knwos what will happen to it.....actually B is doing a fine job with it!


  • Thank you Pattz for making me laugh. You have to, don't you? Life is such a farce at times. Xx

  • Great idea, cleaning teeth in the shower. Although the thought of all the mess, he leaves around the basin, around the shower, turns me off a bit. S's problem is, he can't spit out very well. Some days, just hasn't got a clue what to do! Perhaps, I will try giving him the brush in the shower, when I next shower him, Carers come in five days a week now! I did try an electric brush, hates it. Now he is using a small battery one, if I can remember to tell him to switch it on! Thankfully, no probs with the dentist, yet,!!!

    Lots of love


  • I can't take credit. About six months ago when he fell moving from shower to basin a friend said I should let him clean teeth in shower. When I told Leyla, at that point still living in UK, she said she cleaned her teeth in shower every morning. As for mess, Heady, believe me it's much easier to clean shower using shower head than wipe up mess around basin.

  • haahahahah...How do you tell somebody "You've got a blob of this on face or a piece of that stuck in your teeth etc" One thing seems clear, you are not vain, lest you would've seen it one of the many times you were admiring yourself in the mirror!




  • Sorry for having a laugh at such a difficult subject. I am so glad that i only have to tip his in the sink to scrub them with the brush. God bless false teeth. Think i would try a children's battery tooth brush because they are less harsh then an electric brush. Janexx

  • Definitely an electric toothbrush, which J either uses in the shower or over the basin, and mouthwash every night. Something I also think helps is the toothpaste you use. My oral hygienist suggested Elgydium a few years back. It's a little more expensive but nobody in the family has had a cavity since we switched over, including J, which is remarkable given how difficult it is to clean his teeth properly.

  • well mate I can say without a word of a lie that I use the electric or battery one myself it takes all the hard work out of cleaning your mouth you only have to guide the brush around and it takes all the hard work out of cleaning i usualy brush my tongue as well to take any coating off of it I reckon they are a god send matey

    no hard work involved only lifting it up to your mouth as no doubt you have gathred that i have psp too and believe me when itell you that everything is an effort with psp its worth the extra few bucks mate good luck with it if you get one mate peterjones qaueensland Australia ==psp sufferer

  • Hi I have used a child's first tooth brush small and soft, and non foaming toothpaste such as "Sensodyne" for about a year now. SALT team suggested this also gave me a sheet on cleaning teeth for those with disabled swallow and hard bite reflex. I have the sheet with the Carers notes and ensure all read it. Basically divide mouth into quarters and clean each in turn. Use very small amount of toothpaste, apply to teeth then damp brush and rinse off with brush. Let M bite toothbrush stop, she then relaxes, so can continue. Then leaning over a bowl the carer pour a little water into M's mouth but leaning forward most flush out. Halitosis does start in evening but not bad.

    I think regime working, but will find out at end of Jan when get annual dental checkup.

    Our SALT team were not positive about electric brushes as can cause gum bleeds as too rapid brushing and not easy to control pressure especially by the Carers.

    Best wishes good luck For a happy new year. Tim

  • Our dentist gives us a prescription for fluoride toothpaste. We use a waterproof apron ( which catches blobs of the white stuff) and power toothbrushes of any sort, including children's. So far, no bad breath and only two fillings. Good luck. X

  • Brushing my wife's teeth continues to get more difficult. I've tried both regular and electric toothbrushes. Electric probably works best, but it's very difficult to brush the inside of her mouth, both her teeth and tongue. She grits her teeth so it's so hard to get the brush inside. And once I do, she bites down so hard that I can't move it around much. I fear she will either break it off or damage her teeth. I am now using a special brush that works with her suction machine. So much easier to use and it also suctions out everything after brushing (saliva, toothpaste, gunk).

    Even her dentist and hygienist have a horrific time working on her teeth. She needs to have a couple cavities taken care of, but she's now too weak to take her outside the house. Fortunately she tells me she has no tooth pain.

    All the best in the new year!


  • Sonicare makes a battery powered toothbrush

  • Roisin had used an electric toothbrush but stopped suddenly and reverted to hand brushing. Eventualy I had to assist her, using an adult brush and a child's brush, the latter in the hope of brushing the backs of her teeth. But she never let me do this so, on the GPs recommendation, we used a mouth wash called Fungizone, twice a day. Her inability to eject the fungizone and rinse water made it necessary to use a kidney shaped bowl placed beneath her chin so that she could dribble it out. This mostly worked.

    Her breath was never bad although when Roisin died it was clear that the base of her lower teeth was badly affected. I was told that this was due to a PSP sufferer's excess saliva which remains at the base of their mouths, especially at night, and gradually corrodes the teeth.

    Best wishes for 2016! Christopher

  • TO ALL well what a pallaver over a few teeth i suppose the alternative is get the ones that you take out \\ TEETH THAT IS and hand polish and clean I only have one thank goodness but i would rather leave it OUT that was my lovely grandson when he was a kid he offered me a square of chococolate which I never could refuse and bit down on it which in turn broke one of my teeth BUT HOW WAS I TO KNOW IT HAD JUST COME OUT THE FREEZER IN THE FRIDGE


  • Too late, too right! 6 foot 8! I could use a guy like that...we painted the bathroom ceiling this weekend, and it was a reach!

  • thats no,bother for him it 's like a bloody great spider reaching \\atround\ the place but great for highwork etc matey take care you twi and watchout firthidse highlplaces mate

  • "Bloody great spider" - Ha! What an image!!! I hope you can get some use of the lad - I bet it takes a heap of feed to keep him going. As for chocolate, Mr. C has a sweet tooth like nobody else I know. My sister who is visiting makes boxes of homemade chocolates for everyone for Christmas, and then made up a special batch just for my guy yesterday. I came from work to find my home smelling wonderfully like a confectioners, and trays of cooling morsels about the kitchen. She's off today for her home down south near Washington. I think I deserve lots of credit for not yanking the wires out of her car to keep her here. She's lovely, and her husband who was here with her is a great guy, too. I'll miss them. I am really grateful for my family, but wish we lived closer!

You may also like...