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talking to a resident


"Dental hygienist, Jane Peterson, is making a difference to the lives of residents in cares homes across the UK, helping them to achieve a “real sense of wellbeing” from the feeling that a fresh mouth gives them"  
By: Michaela Mildenhall []

Elderly residents in care homes are encouraged to remain independent for as long as possible, but as the elderly struggle to brush their teeth they become more reliant on care staff for daily oral care.  It has been highlighted by various professional bodies that the provision of oral care is not always being prioritized in care homes and as a result brushing often gets missed.

In 2015 I carried out a survey to establish care staff's perception and knowledge of the mouth. It was apparent that support for the dental profession was needed.  I identified a general lack of basic oral care in the care homes that I visited and was surprised to find that care staff had very little is any mouth care training. 


A number of staff admitted they found brushing teeth and removing dentures 'difficult and unpleasant'.  Residents with advanced dementia are more likely to be resistant to oral procedures and as this group is expected to rise significantly in the future my concern was that oral care will fall further. 

With little support and no training in this area, I felt compelled to intervene. 


In 2014 I formed Knowledge Oral Health Care, I offered my services as a dental care  professional to care homes to train the care staff in delivering best practice in oral care and provide a monthly oral care service to help residents in establishing and improving oral care techniques and regimes.  Dental Care Professionals are now seen as offering this service to care homes on a national basis.


Since setting up Knowledge Oral Health Care, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines, Oral Health for adults in Care Homes was published (July 2016) and quality standard (June 2017)  prioritizing oral care in care homes, making oral health assessments, a mandatory requirement for new residents on admission as well as stating that oral care training is best practice.  Extending the company to concentrate on oral care training seemed like a natural progression.  We now have nearly 200 dental care professionals registered with Knowledge Oral Health Care to deliver accredited oral care training to health care professionals and caregivers.



Poor oral health can cause 'life threatening conditions,' reveals care home dental hygienist

Published by  21-Jul-17   Article By: Michaela Mildenhall

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