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Poor oral health among nursing home residents can lead to pain, infection, malnutrition and serious illness.

One of the greatest barriers to good oral health is simply ensuring daily oral hygiene. Most nursing home residents are unable to brush their own teeth or dentures and their primary caregivers, nursing assistants, often lack the training to provide this care. This website, funded by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, is a toolbox of training resources developed specifically for three different groups, all of whom can play a role in addressing this problem.

For dental professionals, this site provides an instructional video and PowerPoint presentations that may be used to deliver training for nursing home staff.

For nursing home staff, this site provides self instructional tools in the event that a dental professional is not available to provide training.

For families, this site provides suggestions about information they should provide to the nursing home that can help the nursing facility provide the best oral care possible for loved ones.

 

Dental Professionals Resources

For dental professionals, this site provides an instructional video and PowerPoint presentations that may be used to deliver training for nursing home staff. There are three different lengths of presentations to meet the time constraints of both the presenter and the audience.

Downloadable PowerPoint Presentations
Instructional Videos

Oral Health Training
The following video was produced by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Click the play button in the center of the video below to play. 11.5 minutes

 
Wound Care
The following link will open in a new window. When the new window opens, click on "Launch EchoPlayer."

Downloadable Lists
  • Task List for Patients with Partials/Dentures: doc | pdf
  • Task List for Patients with Natural Teeth: doc | pdf
  • Supply List for Patients with Partials/Dentures: doc | pdf
  • Supply List for Patients with Natural Teeth: doc | pdf
Downloadable Forms
  • Competencies for Nursing Assistants in Provision of Oral Hygiene Care in Nursing Homes: doc | pdf
  • Special Safety Precautions: doc | pdf
  • Pre-test/Post-test for Oral Health Training Program for Nurses and Nursing Assistants: doc | pdf
  • Oral Hygiene Daily Log: doc | pdf
  • Dentist Referal Form: doc | pdf
The Financial Side of Dental Care
Online Resources
Supporting Research
  • Chalmers JM. Behavior management and communication strategies for dental professionals when caring for patients with dementia. Spec Care Dentist 2000;20(4):147-54.
  • Ghezzi EM, Ship JA. Systemic diseases and their treatments in the elderly: impact on oral health. J Public Health Dent. 2000;60(4):289-96.
  • Helgeson, Smith BJ, Johnsen M, Ebert C. Dental Considerations for the Frail Elderly. Spec Care Dentist 2002;22:40S-55S.
  • Kayer-Jones J, Bird WF, Redford M, Schell ES Einhorn SH. Strategies for conducting dental examinations among cognitively impaired nursing home residents. Spec Care Dentist 1996;16:46-52
  • Sjogren et al. A systematic review of the preventive effect of oral hygiene on pneumonia and respiratory tract infection in elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2008;56:2124-30

Nursing Home Staff Resources

For nursing home staff, this site provides self instructional tools in the event that a dental professional is not available to provide training. Presentations are available in four lengths. The shorter versions (12 minute video or 30 minute powerpoint) are designed to give all staff a basic understanding of safely providing daily oral care for residents while the longer version (90 minutes) was designed for nursing staff who may become the facility's "oral health specialist," designated to ensure daily oral hygiene for all residents.

PowerPoint Presentations

"View" links below will open in a new window. When the new window opens, click on "Launch EchoPlayer."

Instructional Videos

Oral Health Training
The following video was produced by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Click the play button in the center of the video below to play. 11.5 minutes

 
Wound Care
The following link will open in a new window. When the new window opens, click on "Launch EchoPlayer."

Downloadable Lists
  • Task List for Patients with Partials/Dentures: doc | pdf
  • Task List for Patients with Natural Teeth: doc | pdf
  • Supply List for Patients with Partials/Dentures: doc | pdf
  • Supply List for Patients with Natural Teeth: doc | pdf
Downloadable Forms
  • Competencies for Nursing Assistants in Provision of Oral Hygiene Care in Nursing Homes: doc | pdf
  • Special Safety Precautions: doc | pdf
  • Pre-test/Post-test for Oral Health Training Program for Nurses and Nursing Assistants: doc | pdf
  • Oral Hygiene Daily Log: doc | pdf
  • Dentist Referal Form: doc | pdf
The Financial Side of Dental Care
Online Resources
Supporting Research
  • Coleman, P. Improving oral health care for the frail elderly: A review of widespread problems and best practices. Geriatric Nurs 2002;23:189-97
  • Coleman P, Watson NM. Oral care provided by certified nursing assistants in nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2006;54(1):138-43.
  • Jablonski RA, Munro CL, Grap MJ, et al. Mouth care in nursing homes: knowledge, beliefs, and practices of nursing assistants. Geriatr Nurs 2009;30:99-107.
  • Pyle MA, et al. A pilot study on improving oral care in long-term care settings. Part II: Procedures and outcomes. J Gerontol Nurs 1998;24(10):35-8.
  • Shay K. Oral neglect in the institutionalized elderly. Part 1:The role of the institution. Spec Care Dentist 1990;10(5):166-8.
  • Sjogren et al. A systematic review of the preventive effect of oral hygiene on pneumonia and respiratory tract infection in elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2008;56:2124-30
  • Terpenning M, Shay K. Oral health is cost-effective to maintain but costly to ignore. J Am Geriatr Soc 2002;50(3):584-5.

Family Resources

For families, this site provides suggestions about information they should provide to the nursing home that can help the nursing facility provide the best oral care possible for loved ones. A simple instructional video is provided for family members who may wish to provide oral hygiene care for their loved ones when they visit. Common oral problems and oral hygiene tools are described.

Downloadable Checklists
  • Information Families Should Provide the Nursing Home When Their Loved One is Admitted: doc | pdf
Downloadable PowerPoint Presentations
Instructional Videos

Oral Health Training
The following video was produced by the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Click the play button in the center of the video below to play. 11.5 minutes

 
Wound Care
The following link will open in a new window. When the new window opens, click on "Launch EchoPlayer."

The Financial Side of Dental Care
Online Resources
Supporting Research
  • Sjogren et al. A systematic review of the preventive effect of oral hygiene on pneumonia and respiratory tract infection in elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes. J Am Geriatr Soc 2008;56:2124-30