Nursing home dental services in The United States of Americacan increase greatly by providing training and education resources to caregivers. For those living in nursing homes, doing daily activities such as dressing, bathing, eating and transferring requires assistance from caregivers. This aging population is likely to retain natural dentition compared to the previous generations. This increases the need for oral hygiene care to prevent issues related to dental complications that may impact the quality of life.
Why a high percentage of seniors experience poor oral health
A lot of residents in nursing homes experience poor oral health. This is because of reduced access to professional services and difficulty in maintaining effective oral care. Seniors often take a lot of medications and most of these medications exert negative oral health side-effects. This is one of the reasons residents in nursing homes are at risk of hypersalivation, xerostomia, swallowing problems, hypersalivation, dental caries and periodontal disease. That is where nursing home dental care comes in.
Professional oral care services for seniors
Institutionalized populations may get professional dental services. This is considered an essential need along with bathing and grooming. However, it is usually neglected in most nursing homes. The government mandates that residents in nursing homes should get assistance with their daily oral hygiene. A resident who is unable to do daily activities should receive the necessary services to ensure good grooming, good nutrition and personal oral hygiene.
Who should offer these services?
The responsibility of dental health and oral hygiene care such as cleaning, tooth brushing, and proper storage of toothbrushes falls to nursing staff with different degrees of training. Nursing home dental services should be professional and delivered with qualified staff. Oral education is also important to both the employees in nursing homes and the residents. Some states have laws requiring the management of nursing homes to provide dental in-service for their staff.