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Topic Teeth Brushing Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By flowers12 On 2016.05.01 14:34
My hubby is having an extremely difficult time brushing his teeth. He has lost the ability to rinse and spit. Has anyone used mouth swabs to help rinse the mouth? He says he has slimey stuff in his mouth and wiping with a tissue doesn't get it out. He goes to the dentist every 3 months for a cleaning and we have an electric toothbrush plus I just bought a water pik to try. The water pik will only be used in the shower or water would be everywhere. I think maybe mouth swabs might work?

By Lynnie2 On 2016.05.09 16:18
My husband tries to brush his teeth, but I don't think he is doing a good job, so I try to help him. The problem is he doesn't open his mouth wide enough so I have to keep telling him to open it. It isn't easy for me.
The slimy stuff gets on his tooth brush and comes out of his mouth when he is spitting, and it is difficult to get the spit out but I have him rinse with water to try to get the rest out.
It's a challenge I am afraid.
He used to use an electric toothbrush but the toothpaste kept falling off and I don't think it cleans that well.
I have never heard of mouth swabs, but it wouldn't hurt to try for your husband.

By flowers12 On 2016.05.09 17:15
I have the same problem trying to help him brush. I think as time goes by brushing teeth is difficult for the PWP and the caregiver due to the inability to open the mouth wider and not being able to swish and spit. I only know about the mouth swabs because when my dear Dad was in hospice they told us to use them to freshen his mouth. I haven't found any at the usual drug stores and plan on going to one of the medical supply places to see if they have them. I can always order them online I guess.

I ordered a hand held water pic thinking that would be something to try. I thought I would try it out first to see how it worked. I got it in the eye right off then all over the mirror. It has way too much pressure but I'm working up to giving it to him to try, only in the shower!!

By flowers12 On 2016.05.12 11:10
I'm surprised that I can't find mouth swabs in any medical supply store or pharmacy. I'll have to order them online. Yesterday our Occupational Therapist made a great suggestion for my husband. To help him use a spoon or fork she gave us a piece of rolled foam with a hole down the middle to slide over the handle. What a difference it makes in his ability to feed himself. He has a different way of holding his spoon that seems to enable him to put it right in his mouth.

By jcoff012 On 2016.05.12 16:44
Flowers, I really enjoy reading all of your suggestions. Carl is very highly functioning, but I am very interested in seeing how you and others solve issues of ADL..please post when you try something new! Thanks!

By jcoff012 On 2016.05.15 17:30
I think I found the mouth swabs! Go to CVS online...cvs.com. They are called

Sage Products Toothette Oral Swab System
$2.37 for two; can be used four times each

They look very much like the ones that we used with my brother-in-law while he was in the hospital.

By flowers12 On 2016.05.15 20:08
Thank you for researching the mouth swabs! I had looked at two medical supply stores here in Redding, Northern Medical Supply and Owens Medical Supply. Neither one had anything I was looking for. I went to a smaller store, Everything Medical, and they had not only the mouth swabs at .50 ea or in bulk but they also had the foam handles for utensils. We also bought a shower stool with a back on it because the one we have made him nervous to relax because he felt he could fall backwards.
We haven't used the mouth swabs yet but will report back on how they work out.

By flowers12 On 2016.05.21 10:34
We've used the mouth swabs and they are easier for my hubby to use than a toothbrush. I bought the plain ones and next time I'm going to buy some with the mint.

By flowers12 On 2016.07.02 21:07
An update on teeth brushing. My hubby went for a teeth cleaning a few days ago. And, of course I was asked "how MANY TIMES a day do you help him brush"? I looked at the hygenist like she was asking a ridiculous question. I told her that if I'm lucky I can help him once a day. There are about a hundred other things that need to be done also in a short 24 hours. Anyway, she also has to have an assistant help her because my hubby can't keep his head straight, it leans heavily to the left and he doesn't open his mouth very wide.

Well, she gave me a tip. Use one toothbrush to pull his lips and cheek to the side while brushing with another brush. Hmmmmmm, I haven't tried it yet but I don't know, maybe it will work?

I told her how he complains about a slimey mouth. She asked me what kind of toothpast he uses, Colgate. She said we should switch to Arm & Hammer, baking soda and peroxide toothpaste. She also told me I could use a little Biotine on the mouth swabs to swab out his mouth. Well, I'm adding this to our regimin.

By Lynnie2 On 2016.07.03 13:01
Thanks for the tips about opening the mouth and the kind of toothpaste, Arm and Hammer.
I will get some this week.
Hopefully the toothpaste helps with the slim when he is trying to spit.

By flowers12 On 2016.07.09 11:03
Does anyone know what is causing the slimey mouth? My hubby complains all the time about slime in his mouth. The mouth swabs do work well but the slime returns within a few hours. He can use the mouth swabs on his own and I find him in the bathroom swabbing quite often. We changed toothpaste brands also and that also works in the short term. Is it the Sinemet causing it or just the PD?

By Lynnie2 On 2016.07.09 13:12
I believe the slim is caused from PD as the saliva builds up in the mouth.
PWP don't swallow automatically like other people and the saliva can also cause drooling.
My husband drools a lot and this past year he has been getting Botox in the glands to help. It doesn't take all of it away as the specialist doesn't want him to have a dry mouth which would be worse for swallowing.
The specialist also told us that chewing gum helps to get rid of the saliva so you might want to try that.
We also changed toothpaste to what someone on here recommended. I bought some Arm and Hammer this week and I think it might help the string or slimmy stuff when he spits.


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