Taking Care of Your Teeth When You Have Chronic Illness

Taking Care of Your Teeth When You Have Chronic IllnessPin
Taking Care of Your Teeth When You Have Chronic Illness

Updated 7/16/2020 I ended up purchasing a Phillips Sonicare Essence 5000 brush at my local drugstore. I love it and my teeth feel so clean! It cost $29.95. I’m so glad that I’m using it, because I have not been able to go to the dentist for a cleaning due to the pandemic.

Taking care of our teeth is vitally important for our overall health and well being. Not to mention that healthy teeth and gums help bolster our self-esteem. Chronic illnesses and their treatments can have side effects that impact the health of our teeth.

The last time I got my teeth cleaned, my dentist suggested an electric toothbrush. He told me that my receding gums on the sides of my mouth were due to my “scrubbing too hard.” He suggested a toothbrush with a pressure sensor.

This was uncomfortable news to me. I’ve struggled over a lifetime with getting cavities no matter how well I take care of my teeth. I brushed twice a day and flossed at bedtime, and I almost always had a cavity that needed filled.

Years ago, a dentist told me I was “scrubbing too hard” in a certain spot. So I tried to be gentler. The next time I saw that dentist I had a cavity there. Grr. Maybe the new electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors would help me with this issue.

So, I took my dentist’s advice and started researching the electric tooth brushes on the market. I’ve not been thrilled with the prices of these brushes. I don’t have a lot of wiggle room in my budget, so I’ll have to save up for one.

In the meantime, I ran across these awesome articles on taking care of your teeth over at The Zebra Pit and other sites. The rest of this post will be the resources I’ve discovered during my research.

Reviews of Electric & Sonic Toothbrushes

  1. The first resource is a Consumers Advocate post on “The Best Electric Toothbrushes Based On In-Depth Reviews” https://www.consumersadvocate.org/electric-toothbrushes.

2. If you’re wondering what the difference is between a sonic and electric toothbrush, you can read about it here. The article above does mention that some people do not like the “tickling feeling” produced by a sonic toothbrush. This article does report better cleaning in cracks and crannies with a sonic toothbrush.

3. If after reading resource number 2, you want more information about Oral B versus Sonicare electric toothbrushes, you can read this review from Leads Rating. After reading this review, I was able to settle on buying an Oral B toothbrush for myself.

4. Oral Care, Zebra Style written by Michelle Curtis at The Zebra Pit. This is a excellent article about how to take really good care of your teeth. Michelle has been using electric toothbrushes for 20 years, and lists her favorites.

How Chronic Illness Affects Your Teeth

Next, the following two articles do a great job of informing us about the special risks posed by different chronic illnesses on our teeth.

5. While I was at The Zebra Pit, I discovered this article by Pamela Jesson called Dental Care and Chronic Illness. Pamela discusses how she copes with anxiety at the dentist office. She also shares a list of chronic illnesses that can have a negative impact on your oral health.

6. Michelle Curtis has also written a great resource on how hypermobility disorders can impact your teeth and gums. Check it out here.

Review of Brushing & Flossing Techniques

Finally, over time we tend to get sloppy in our brushing and flossing. Reviews of how to brush and floss properly are below if needed.

7. The American Dental Association has a website for consumers that contains anything you want to know about caring for your teeth. They even have a section about choosing dental insurance. You can check out this site here.

8. Need a refresher on how to brush properly? This quick video is for you.

9. Here’s a refresher on flossing, too. If you cannot use standard dental floss, ask your dentist about other ways to clean between your teeth. My boys like the dental flossers, because they think they are easier to use than the string type dental floss. I prefer the string floss, because I always seem to poke myself with the plastic flossers.

A Plastic Flosser For Tooth Care


So which electric toothbrush will I buy? I put the Oral-B Pro 1500 in my Wish List at Amazon. I have to save my pennies. In the meantime, I’m trying to use less pressure, and focus on what I’m doing while brushing. Instead of thinking about what I have to do next. I’ve noticed that when I’m thinking about other things while brushing, I catch myself “scrubbing” too hard.

I hope this post has given you some tips to help you keep your teeth in tip top shape. If this post has given you helpful information please consider buying me a cup of tea at https://ko-fi.com/upbeatliving

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By Kathryn

I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32. I'm also a domestic abuse survivor.


  1. Kathy, thanks so much for including our posts. I don’t think you could go wrong with the brush you’ve chosen. It’s an awesome brush with all the bells and whistles and will definitely help you keep from brushing too hard, but it’s good to concentrate on maintaining a loose grip and slow pace, too. I’ve always wondered how much POTS contributes to that frenetic nature of mine. I’m one that feels the need to do everything hard and fast. One of the remineralization tooth pastes I mentioned might help you get some enamel back, too. It’s done wonders for mine, with all my nervous grinding and hard brushing. I wish you luck with it all! Xx

  2. I think that’s my toothbrush actually, or within that range. I got it as a gift. Didn’t think it’d make a difference initially but I think it was one of the best gifts ever! My teeth really feels cleaner after switching to electric. And the pressure sensor can be helpful for your issues. Hope you manage to get it soon x

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