For the past three years, newly qualified dentists in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex (KSS) have been involved in a Mouth Care Matters project aiming to improve the oral health of residents in care homes.
Each year, cohorts of newly qualified dentists visit a selection of care homes to provide free in-house mouth care training sessions to their nursing team. These training sessions are interactive and guided by staff, ensuring all their questions on good mouth care for their residents are answered.
Care staff who have received the training have said how informative and useful it has been. Care home residents are often elderly with multiple medical problems or dementia. These factors can have a huge impact on the mouth, and how mouth care can be provided. The challenges faced by care staff when trying to provide mouth care can be difficult to overcome, but guidance from the visiting dentists can go a long way to addressing these difficulties.
Equally, our new qualified dentists are learning about treating patients from a care home setting, and the changes they may need to make to their mouth care messages.