5 Tips for Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth with Arthritis

older man looking in mirror brushing teeth

5 Tips for Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth with Arthritis

Living with arthritis can make everyday tasks like brushing and flossing your teeth more challenging. However, practicing good oral hygiene is crucial for your health. Here are a few professional tips on how to make your brushing and flossing routine more comfortable so you can get a thorough clean. 

Five Tips for Brushing and Flossing When You Have Arthritis 

1: Use an Electric Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush requires a lot of wrist movement, which can be very painful if you have arthritis. Electric toothbrushes are best for arthritic hands because they automatically make the circular and back-and-forth movements necessary to clean your teeth. All you have to do is move the brush head from tooth to tooth. 

Make sure to choose an electric toothbrush that has a large, ergonomic handle. If you have trouble finding the right handle, consider getting a toothbrush accessory that’s designed to help with grip. 

2: Sit Down While Brushing

Another way to make brushing your teeth more comfortable is to sit down while you brush. When you sit, you can rest your elbow on the counter or on a table for extra support, which puts less stress on your joints. Try putting a folded towel under your elbow for added comfort.

3: Try Other Flossing Methods

Although string floss is the most effective flossing method, it can be impossible to manipulate when you have arthritis. But skipping flossing altogether is not an option either. It’s crucial that you remove bacteria and debris from between your teeth to prevent gum disease

Luckily, there are several alternatives to string floss available. For instance, interdental brushes are easier to grip and help clean the more difficult-to-reach areas of your mouth. You can also use a water flosser, which uses a pulsating stream of water to clean along your gums. 

4: Consider Assistive Devices

If you have trouble reaching some parts of your mouth, fortunately there are many assistive devices on the market that can enhance your brushing and flossing routine. For instance, there are toothbrush grippers and handle extenders that make it easier to hold the toothbrush and reach those hard-to-reach areas. There are also floss holders that can help you clean between teeth without the need for manual dexterity. 

5: Consult Your Dentist

It’s also important to ask your dentist about how you can keep your mouth clean and healthy when you have arthritis. They can recommend the best products and methods for your specific needs. They might also recommend more frequent professional cleanings to protect your dental health. 

Teeth Cleanings in Sun Lakes, Arizona

Did you know that poor oral hygiene can make arthritis pain worse? Bacteria buildup causes inflammation and infections that can affect the joints. So it’s crucial that you visit the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings. 

At Dr. Saba and Associates, we provide gentle cleanings and other preventive services for the Sun Lakes community. If you’re due for a cleaning, or would like to discuss how to keep your mouth healthy with arthritis, give us a call at 480-895-2111 to schedule an appointment. 


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/29/2023). Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels