About 25 percent of adults 60 years old and older no longer have any natural teeth.
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 rooth, 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.
Kansas Health Care Association
Oral Health Training for Long-Term Care Providers.
Nursing Home Oral Health: a blueprint for success
This program provides a toolbox of training resources developed for dental professionals, nursing home staff and families. The educational materials are available online for free. They include a compressive set of materials for staff development that include print and videos. These materials were developed by the University of Kentucky College Of Dentistry.
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.
Enhancing Oral Health for Vulnerable Elderly Through Innovative Models of Care
PowerPoint and and 60-minute Podcast examining current successful models to improve the oral health of older adults. Douglas Berky, DMD, MPH, MS, University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. Institute for Oral Health, 2010. Powerpoint and Podcast
Wisdom Tooth Project: an online source for information about oral health for older adults
This is one of several resources from Oral Health America, dedicated to improving the oral health of all.
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.
Smiles for a Lifetime
A comprehensive oral health care program for older Kansans being served by Area Agencies on Aging. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
An initiative highlighting strategies and activities that improve seniors’ overall well-being by addressing the integration of medical and dental conditions. For more information: email@example.com
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 for 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
Oral Health for Older Americans - Center for Disease Control and Prevention - factsheets/adult older
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body - AARP
Wisdom Tooth Project - Oral Health America