For many with disabilities, understanding not to swallow toothpaste can be difficult. This can be worrisome as ingesting toothpaste can lead to side effects such as stomach pains and when the toothpaste has fluoride; side effects can be more extreme such as difficult breathing and vomiting.

Here are some tips to keep your client’s teeth clean and avoid the unwanted side effects from swallowing toothpaste.

  • If you are using fluoridated toothpaste, make sure to only use a pea size amount of toothpaste. This is a safe amount for the client to consume without getting any harmful side effects.
  • Substitute toothpaste with Listerine rinse. Dip the toothbrush in the fluoridated Listerine rinse and brush your client’s teeth with this instead.
  • Use a toothbrush that is equipped with a small suction. These may be hard to find so try medical supply stores.