Three Oral Care Tips If You Have Arthritis in Your Hands

Three Oral Care Tips If You Have Arthritis in Your Hands

Arthritis is a disease in which joint cartilage degenerates, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the three most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Arthritis can occur in any joint, and the most common areas it affects are the hips and knees, as well as the fingers, neck, lower back, and feet. People with arthritis may experience pain in their joints during flare-ups and while moving their joints. In addition to pain, arthritis may cause fatigue, stiffness, and swelling. If you are an arthritis patient, here are a few tips that can help make your oral care easier.

  • Sit while brushing

When you brush or floss your teeth, you should sit in a comfortable position and stay still for about two minutes. If you have arthritis in your joints, you may want to avoid standing while you brush your teeth. Instead, sit in a comfortable chair and do the job. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritating your gums. You might also want to consider an electric toothbrush to make the job easier for you.

  • Use an automatic toothbrush

Patients with arthritis may be more likely to brush their teeth than others if they use electric toothbrushes. Specially designed for those with limited hand movement or dexterity, automatic toothbrushes can reduce the number of strokes needed when brushing. It's recommended to brush for two minutes twice a day to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth before they harden into tartar. The ADA also recommends that you change your toothbrush every three months so that you can be as clean as possible. If you find it hard to grip a toothbrush because of your hands, arm, shoulder, or neck pain associated with arthritis, consider using an ergonomic toothbrush handle or head. These are designed to make it easier to hold and use.

  • Squeeze the tube with palms

For patients with severe arthritis, squeezing things like the toothpaste tube can become difficult. To help this, place the tube on the counter and push the paste out of the tube using your palm. It is a good idea to start from the tube's bottom so that all of the paste is squeezed out as you go along. You can also try a toothpaste dispenser that can help the process a lot easier. 

If you're ready to experience the best dental care, please contact the cosmetic dentist in Phoenix, AZ, at (602) 249-2227 or visit us at 1277 E Missouri Ave Ste 217 Phoenix, AZ 85014.