Brushing your teeth

Brushing your teeth is essential for good oral hygiene and should be done twice a day. This type of personal hygiene can be challenging for people with sight loss, so we've outlined some tips to make cleaning your teeth easier.

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Choosing your toothbrush

  • If you have some remaining vision, contrasting bold or patterned toothbrushes may make it easier to find in your bathroom and help you see where you're brushing.
  • You may find brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush is easier and better than using a manual one. The round head helps you clean each individual tooth, removing more plaque and improving your dental health. Most electric toothbrushes have a timer that tells you when to move on to a different part of your mouth. However, you may find an electric toothbrush is not a practical option for you. They are more expensive than manual ones, can break easily if dropped, require regular changing and aren't as easy to travel with.

Toothpaste tips

  • Pick a toothpaste that has a bold smell so it's easier to identify, especially if you share the bathroom with other people and want to be sure that you’re using your own toothpaste.
  • Buy a tube that’s easy to identify so you don’t have to touch other people’s things when trying to locate it.
  • To help you find the toothpaste, keep it in the same place and remember that if you (or someone else) uses it, it should always be put back in its spot.
I have my own tube of toothpaste and squirt the toothpaste directly onto my teeth. So much easier and less messy than trying to aim for the toothbrush.
Linda, guide dog owner
Our blind hack for applying toothpaste to your toothbrush with ease.

Handy accessories for brushing your teeth

If you have low vision, a small handheld dental mirror can help you see into your mouth, especially when flossing with interdental brushes or toothpicks.

Cleaning your teeth for the first time on your own

  • A brush with hard or rough bristles can damage your gums and may cause bleeding. Your toothbrush's bristles should be soft but slightly firm so they can remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth.
  • Speak to your dentist about using toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that prevents tooth decay and makes tooth enamel stronger. If you have sensitive teeth and feel pain when eating or drinking things that are hot or cold, use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Ask your dentist for recommendations for your dental hygiene. They may recommend a specific type of toothpaste or toothbrush and provide you with a routine or set plan for brushing your teeth that suits your visual impairment.

Step-by-step guide to brushing your teeth