Oral Health Care Education for Nursing Home Caregivers

An Evidence-Based Practice


This oral health care educational intervention teaches caregivers in nursing homes proper oral health care techniques. Institutionalized elderly people frequently have poor oral health, due to inadequate knowledge about oral health care, and the dependence on caregivers' assistance with all aspects of personal hygiene care. During a one-hour session, a licensed health promoter teaches caregivers about oral health and demonstrates how to clean dentures and natural teeth. Participants are able to practice cleaning techniques using mannequins, models, and other teaching aids. The program also distributes toothbrushes to all clients to encourage oral hygiene.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this educational program was to improve the quality of oral health care nursing home residents received from their caregivers.

Results / Accomplishments

The educational intervention was evaluated using a cluster-randomized controlled trial comparing the oral health of residents in intervention nursing homes to a control group. After the oral health care education, the intervention group had significantly lower denture plaque scores when compared to the control group at 1-month (1.66 vs. 2.82, p < 0.001) and 6-month follow-ups (1.61 vs. 3.09, p < 0.001). Denture-induced stomatitis prevalence was significantly reduced over 6 months when compared to the control group (p < 0.0001). The intervention group had significantly lower dental plaque scores at both follow-ups (1.69 vs. 2.08 at 1-month, and 1.87 vs. 2.18 at 6-months, p's < 0.001) and significantly lower gingivitis scores at the 6-month follow-up (1.08 vs. 1.36, p < 0.001).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Healther Frenkel
Bristol Dental Hospital
Lower Maudlin Street
Bristol BS1 2LY
United Kingdom
+44 117 923 0050
Health / Oral Health
Health / Older Adults & Aging
Bristol Dental Hospital
Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Date of publication
Aug 2001
For more details
Target Audience