CARE: Dental health in care

A report by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) has found that more than half of older adults in care homes have tooth decay compared to 40 per cent of over 75s and 33 per cent of over 85s who do not live in care homes.

Their report calls for oral health and access to dental treatments to be given the same priority as general health for all adults in care homes. Recommendations in the guidance focus on improving and maintaining residents’ day-to-day oral healthcare, ensuring staff are properly trained to confidently look after the oral health needs of residents, and there is adequate access to dental services when needed.

It also recommends all residents have an oral health assessment when they enter a care home with the results – including any treatment needs – being entered into their personal care plan.

For Friends and relatives of people in care, taking an interest in their dental health and ensuring that it is part of their care plan is a practical way of tackling the problem.

For more details, see the full report (PDF download)

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