Daily care routines

A few things to think about when working out a mouth care routine that suits the person you support.



  • Choose a place where the person is relaxed and comfortable. It doesn’t have to be the bathroom.
  • Limiting distractions (noises, bright lights, other people) will be important for some people.

Set up

  • Encourage involvement and independence as far as possible at all stages of the routine.
  • Have a mirror so the person can see themselves.
  • Having visual reminders showing the steps of toothbrushing can help to support independence. (See resources)


  • Ideally, mouth care will happen twice a day; in the morning and at night before bed. If this isn’t possible, try to find a time when the person is relaxed and you have time to assist.
  • Allowing enough staff time is important as some people may need more time and to take breaks.


  • For people who use memory book, diary or timetable, make sure the mouth care routine is included.

If it is a difficult day, don’t force the activity. Try again at another time.

Could pain be a reason for the person not wanting to clean their mouth? If you think this is a possibility, speak with an oral health professional.