University of Mississippi Dental Care Unit: toothbrushing for the handicapped

Eric H. Rommerdale, Robert W. Comer, Wyatt Franklin Caughman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This unit satisfactorily helps to maintain dental health, and also gives the handi‐ capped a sense of independence. This has tremendous psychological value for the individual who may have relied on others to provide routine oral hygiene functions. It may also have therapeutic effects by providing the patient with a useful and important personal task. Because of special circumstances, certain handicapped individuals must recognize their need for dental health. For the quadriplegic, the mouth assumes the functions of the impaired limbs. For example, the mouthstick and the sip and puff wheelchair are con‐ trolled by the mouth. Therefore, it is important for the quadriplegic to maintain healthy dentition and oral tissue and not compound the problems by also b e coming dentally handicapped. Until the development of the University of Mississippi Dental Care Unit, the quadriplegic was dependent on others to manage his dental hygiene. Reliance on others is sometimes unsatis‐ factory because of the inconvenience and the inability of one individual to ad‐ equately dean another's teeth. Several the participants in the development of the prototypic unit stated that: “It is very difficult for someone else to do a good job brushing your teeth, and that after using the dentalcareunit, my teeth “felt really clean for the first time since my accident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-109
Number of pages2
JournalSpecial Care in Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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