A good oral hygiene routine for Dialysis Patients

This blog post was made by Kamal Shah on September 7, 2023.
A good oral hygiene routine for Dialysis Patients

Reprinted with permission from https://www.kamaldshah.com/2022/12/a-good-oral-hygiene-routine-for.html. Originally published on December 22, 2022.

Dialysis patients are at an increased risk of dental problems. Often, dental problems are neglected unless they become severe. There are some simple things that we can do to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.

A good oral hygiene routine is something even the healthy population often lacks. Further, cleaning habits coming down from generations continue unchanged as this area doesn't get much attention. One of the most common misconceptions is regarding when to brush.

Here is a simple oral hygiene routine Dialysis Patients can follow to keep their teeth healthy:

  1. Perform this routine twice a day, ideally after meals. I do it after breakfast and dinner.
  2. First gargle with water. Then use an interdental brush to remove food stuck between the teeth. After a few years on dialysis, there is bone loss in the teeth as well. This causes gaps between teeth at the base. Food can get stuck here and should be removed. An appropriately sized interdental tooth brush (available at most pharmacies) can be used to easily remove these particles. Make sure you use a small sized one to begin with and then switch to a large sized one if this doesn't work. Using a large sized one right at the beginning may further increase the gap.
  3. After this, use a good Mouthwash such as Listerine to thoroughly rinse your mouth. Spit after at least 30 seconds.
  4. Then squeeze out a pea-sized quantity of toothpaste onto your brush and brush all the teeth. Make sure to brush the front and the back of all teeth and the top parts of the larger teeth as well. Use a down to up or up to down motion as appropriate so that the brush does not damage the gum.
  5. Don't gargle. Just spit. Gargling will undo all the hard work you've just done! This may seem strange at first but try it. You will realise it is fine.
  6. Use a tongue cleaner to clean the tartar that has gathered on the tongue. 2-3 times.
  7. Try not to eat or drink anything for a 10-20 minutes after this routine.
  8. Every morning, as soon as you wake up, you feel like cleaning your mouth. There really is no point going through the whole rigmarole as you have brushed before going to bed and haven't used your teeth the entire night. However, one exception is the tartar on your tongue. So you should gargle with water and use a tongue cleaner to clean out the tartar. 2-3 times. Gargle again. You can then skip this part in your post-breakfast routine.

As you can see, this is a fairly simple oral hygiene routine that can go a long way in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy and clean. Also, don't miss your annual check up with Dentist to get those cavities filled and the give the teeth a nice cleaning.

Who wants to deal with yet another problem if you can keep it away?


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