Arran, who is profoundly deaf and non-verbal, has been living at St. Mary’s for just over 3 years now. When he first moved in with us, he struggled to express his wishes and it was challenging for support staff to know his likes and dislikes.
One thing Arran has never liked, or let his Support Workers assist him with, is brushing his teeth. He would not allow anyone to look in his mouth, not even the Dentist after going several times to get used to the surroundings. Arran was booked in to get his teeth cleaned under anaesthetic until COVID-19 emerged and he was taken off of the waiting list. The staffing team have been working hard with Arran on his oral hygiene and using strategies to encourage him to brush his teeth.
First, we started with a plain toothbrush and did this several times so he could get used to the feel of the toothbrush and then used a variety of flavoured toothpastes (as he doesn’t seem to like mint). Slowly, but surely, Arran is allowing staff to assist him in brushing his teeth. He will stick his tongue out to taste the toothbrush to determine if he will like it or not and laughs. Some mornings are more of a success than others, but this is great progress for him and we are all very proud of how far he has come!