Older Adults
Older Adults
Older Adults
Older Adults

Older Americans suffer from a variety of oral diseases, which in many cases interact with existing medical conditions. Oral disease affecting seniors, include cavities, decay of the tooth root, periodontal disease and oral cancer. The challenges elders face in maintaining good oral health are many. Older adults and their caregivers lack basic knowledge about how to protect their oral health with daily oral hygiene They choose food that's incovenient, often high in carbohydrates and limited amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits. Many older adults do not have funds necessary to maintain good oral health. Medicare does not cover dental services. There is no funding for treatment to prevent oral disease or services to repair decayed teeth, purchase or fix dentures or treat gum disease. Even for seniors 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 two hours away.

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


New 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:

To view the full screen click on the square icon in the lower right corner of the flipbook area when your mouse hovers there.

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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