Older Adults
Older Adults
Older Adults
Older Adults

Older Americans can face a variety of oral diseases that often are affected by other medical conditions. Oral disease affecting older people include cavities, decay of the tooth root, gum disease, and oral cancer. In addition to facing dental diseases, older adults also experience nutrition and access to service challenges. Older adults and their caregivers may not have the skills to protect their oral health with daily at home oral hygiene. They may choose foods that are convenient, which are often high in carbohydrates, and many older people may have limited access to fresh vegetables and fruits. Many older adults do not have funds necessary to access dental care, and Medicare does not cover dental services. Even for older people who live in cities with many dentists, transportation to dental clinics is limited. For those who live in rural areas, the one existing dental office might be hours away. While the challenges are many, there are ways to address them.

Oral Health Kansas has established several programs/services designed to support seniors’ needs for individualized and specialized oral health care. These include partnering with state and local agencies serving older Kansans, developing and distributing oral health educational and dental hygiene materials. OHK’s team provides educational opportunities for all who support the care and wellbeing of vulnerable elders.

Overarching Goal:
To Improve the oral health of older Kansans

  • Increase access to professional dental care for older Kansans
  • Offer continuing dental education programs focusing on the conditions and challenges that seniors face
  • Provide educational workshops on oral health care to all who provide care and support for vulnerable elders
  • Produce public awareness materials for publications addressing the needs of seniors and those who serve them

  • Partners:
  • Kansas Area Agencies on Aging
  • Kansas Department for Disabilities and Aging


Resources for people with mobility challenges!

Adaptive Aids for Toothbrushing:
Resources for Adaptive Aides
A healthy mouth is essential for overall health. People with disabilities are more likely to experience dental problems when a daily hygiene routine is not practiced. Here are some products that can help you adapt your toothbrushing routine.
Available for free download: Resources for Adaptive Aids

Toothbrushing booklet:
CHANGING IT UP: How to keep toothbrushing in your routine when experiencing limited mobility
Toothbrushing is an essential activity that everyone must practice daily to stay healthy. When body movements are limited, effective toothbrushing can be a challenge. Here are some ideas to improve the way you care for your teeth, because poor oral health can lead to health issues that range from annoying to serious.

This document is copywritten. Please contact us for bulk pricing.
Preview the booklet here:

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Educational Materials

Kansas Health Care Association
Oral Health Training for Long-Term Care Providers.

Overcoming Obstacles to Oral Health: a training program for caregivers of people with disabilities and frail elders
This program includes a DVD and a CD with training videos and a print workbook for direct care staff, pre & post test for training sessions and a PowerPoint presentation. These materials were developed by University of the Pacific School of Dentistry Pacific Center for Special Care. Purchase these materials for $195.00. ADA Item #P030

Collaborative Health Care for Older Adults: United Medicine and Dentistry
Online six minute video — Dentistry for Aging Adults — Ira Lamster, Dean of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. The New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Lamster provides a brief, but comprehensive summary of oral health issues that older adults experience.

Oral Health Kansas: free downloadable Oral Health Tips & Tricks
These colored, easy-to-read one-page fact sheets address topics such as toothbrushing, flossing, dentures, tobacco use and oral cancer.

Older woman brushingPrograms and Products

Smiles for a Lifetime
A comprehensive oral health care program for older Kansans being served by Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, info@oralhealthkansas.org

Smiles for a Lifetime Oral Health Handbook for Home Health Aides
A guide for home health agencies to use for staff orientation, training and coaching as well as for seniors and family caregivers.

Healthy Aging: An Oral Health Guide for Health Care Providers
A pamphlet that describes possible links between medical and dental conditions, roles for health care professionals and a list of basic questions practitioners will find useful when interviewing seniors about their oral health conditions.

Overcoming Obstacles to Oral Health
A training program for caregivers of people with disabilities and of frail elders. Included is a DVD and supplementary materials such as training manuals and sample care plans: For more information, cost and order form: University of Pacific School of Dentistry

Nursing Home Oral Health: A Blueprint for Success
A free online set of educational materials designed to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence of direct care staff to provide daily oral hygiene care to residents of nursing homes. Materials are available for dental professionals conducting training sessions, for staff and for families. University of Kentucky College of Dentistry

How to Brush the Teeth of Another Person
A DVD that demonstrates step-by-step toothbrushing techniques that are accurate, safe and respectful: Specialized Care Co.


Oral Health for Older Americans - Center for Disease Control and Prevention - agingtrends/03oral

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body - AARP


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