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Introduction 

Please note: the resources on this page are provided for informational purposes only. No endorsement is expressed or implied, and while we make every effort to ensure this page is up to date and relevant, we cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers.


Please contact us if you have any suggestions or feedback.

Useful resources 

Case studies

Guidelines

E-learning 

Videos and podcasts

Fact sheets and posters

Toolkits and templates

Articles/reports  

Mouth care tools

Cleaning 

  • Cleaning aids - a toothbrush used properly is the only tool that will remove bacterial plaque from the teeth and mouth.


  • MouthEze oral cleanser - can be used to provide dry mouth care, including the application of dry mouth gels. They can also be used to clean the soft tissues of the mouth and remove food debris and tenacious dried saliva.


  • Small headed manual toothbrush - a small head is more effective at reaching all parts of the mouth. Adaptations can be made to toothbrushes to aid grip for people with poor manual dexterity.


  • Aspirating/suction toothbrush - an aspirating toothbrush is one that can be connected to the suction tubes; this will help to remove excess saliva or water from the mouth during toothbrushing. This may be particularly useful in unconscious or intubated patients who are at risk of aspirating.


  • Three-sided toothbrush - a three-headed toothbrush which can be used for patients who have limited cooperation. These toothbrushes simplify the toothbrushing technique by brushing multiple surfaces of a tooth at the same time. However, they are not as effective at removing dental plaque as normal manual or electric toothbrushes and should only be used as a last resort.


  • Electric toothbrush - electric or powered toothbrushes have many benefits. They often have small heads, which are ideal for cleaning all areas of the mouth. If the toothbrush has a rotating action, it can be simply placed on the tooth surface with the bristles directed towards the gum margin and held there before moving onto the next tooth.

Note: PHE guidance recommends against using electric toothbrushes for patients with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 due to increased risk of droplets or splash.


  • Oral cleanser - can be used to provide dry mouth care, including the application of dry mouth gels. They can also be used to clean the soft tissues of the mouth and remove food debris and tenacious dried saliva.

Dentures

  • Denture brush or a soft toothbrush - if the patient has natural teeth, this should not be the patient’s toothbrush but a different brush.


  • Denture cleaning paste or a fragrance-free liquid soap - do NOT use toothpaste as this is too abrasive and may roughen/wear down the denture.

  • Denture box - labelled with the patient’s name.


  • Denture cleansers - used to soak/chemically clean dentures. These must be used per manufacturer’s instructions.


  • Denture fixatives - often used to help increase the retention and comfort of dentures. It is available to buy over the counter and should be removed daily from both the denture as well as the patient’s mouth using a denture brush and toothbrush respectively. In patients with a compromised swallow it should be used sparingly and on the advice of a dentist.

Toothpastes and dry mouth


  • Be aware that foam swabs can present a choking risk. See the MHRA alert for further information (MHRA, 2012).


  • Be aware of the evidence that lemon and glycerine swabs can worsen dry mouth/xerostomia as they cause overstimulation and exhaustion of the salivary glands (NICE, 2018).



Please note: the RCSLT does not endorse or recommend any particular products. Products should be used based on a patient's medical history and oral assessment.

 

References  

To see a full list of references please download these references as a PDF