Adaptations for the Toothbrush

Some individuals have the ability to brush their own teeth and all they need is a few modifications to an ordinary toothbrush. Here are some quick and easy tips to modify a toothbrush to make it more usable for different abilities.

For some individuals, adding a larger grip to the toothbrush allows them to hold and manipulate the brush themselves.

This can be done by:

  1. Purchasing a brush with a larger handle. Some companies already produce toothbrushes with a bigger handle for better gripping.
  2. Making a slit into a tennis ball and sliding the bottom of the tooth brush handle into the tennis ball.
  3. Sliding the bottom of the toothbrush into a bicycle handle grip or any type of rubber or even foam tubing.
  4. Wrapping a small cloth around the bottom of the brush.

Some individuals might require changes to the shape of the toothbrush to make it angled for better access to their teeth.

This can be done by:

  1. Purchasing a brush that is bent to a more useful angle for brushing. Some companies produce bend brushes available at local convenience stores.
  2. Running the toothbrush handle (avoiding the bristles) under very hot water so that you can gently bend the plastic according to your client’s needs.

Other individuals might need a longer brush to better reach their mouth in order to be able to brush on their own.

This can be done by using the following material to elongate the toothbrush:

  1. Tape several popsicle sticks to the bottom of the brush
  2. Add some type of tubing to the bottom

Try a power toothbrush.

For those who are able to brush their own teeth, try an electric toothbrush. Not only does this make brushing easier, it also makes brushing faster and more efficient.

Some helpful tips:

  • Always choose a toothbrush that has SOFT bristles rather than HARD bristles
  • Change the toothbrush (or toothbrush head for an electric toothbrush) every three months or after your loved one is sick (cold, cough, stomach flu etc.)