A toothbrush designed for the manual abilities and psychological preferences of the patients

An important aspect in dental care is the psychological effect assisted brushing has on the caregiver as well as the patient. The oral hygiene of the people caregivers help may become neglected if they are feeling overwhelmed by balancing their many duties, patients, and own self-care. Brushing another person’s teeth is a difficult procedure that requires appropriately designed cleaning aids and training on the complex positional requirements needed to maintain a proper technique.

As a result of not having proper tools or training, toothbrushing becomes a very unrewarding daily chore for caregivers.

Inducing negative feedback from the patient, like gagging, can discourage the caregiver and cause them to feel as though their efforts are not only unappreciated but totally ineffective.

If caregivers were given the proper tool to work with and reasonably doable instructions, they would approach this task with less trepidation and their anxiety would not be transferred to the defenseless person needing aid with daily oral infection control.

In short, if caregivers are given a realistic regimen to follow and they feel as though a good job has been done, their confidence will be felt by the patient and a positive psychological environment will prevail.

grandma

Suggested procedures for assisted brushers:

Step1

Find a toothpaste that the person likes and fill the Collis Curve Toothbrush with toothpaste.

Step2

Slide brush over teeth until curved bristles touch gumline. If the person resists, do a circular scrub on the outside of their teeth until the person will let you cover his tooth with the brush. It may take a few days, but your problems will soon be over.

 

Step3

Move the handle laterally to brush back and forth on each quadrant of the mouth for 30 seconds. While doing this, tilt brush head side-to-side to allow curved bristles to slide along enamel surfaces and embrasures of teeth to scoop out debris in sulcus and gumline.

Step4

Use as a regular brush for a finishing scrub on the front teeth and any areas that may need extra care.

Kian Masoumi, RDH AP performing assisted brushing on a patient with severe periodontal problems

Impact on person receiving aid:

Fear of intrusion

Sensory overload

Pressure too hard

Uncomfortable placement 

Gagging

Dr.Collis the inventor of the simultaneous brushing technique

Benefits of Daily Oral Infection Control:

Reduces respiratory pathogens

Improves psychological well-being 

Improves social interactions 

Huggable and kissable

Fresh breath and clean smile

Nurses must understand the importance of infection control and it that it should be recorded in the patient's chart.  An analogy to a  bed sore helps illustrate this fact.  “If a patient had a bedsore the size of my hand (hold up) would that be significant?  How would you treat the situation? Nurses get excited and tell how important it is to treat the bedsore and enter the treatment in the chart.  Some nursing homes have said they would transfer patient to a hospital with a bedsore that size.  The soft tissue in the mouth is about the size of my hand and without daily oral infection control, it can be similar to the bedsore.

― J. Chalmers J, Johnson V, Tang JH, Titler MG. Evidence-based protocol: oral hygiene care for functionally dependent and cognitively impaired older adults. J Gerontol Nurs. 2004

Simultaneous brushing has made its way into research and dental literature.

Publish studies include: