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Oral Care and Health

Posted on: 2013 09 05

Hello Readers. My kids went off to school wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts today. Fall is in the air and I notice the leaves already starting to change outside my office window. For the next few weeks this blog will feature pieces written by our referral partners from our Capital Region office. You can expect to read articles on Hospice, how to shop healthy and on a budget, memory care and services for people with Arthritis. It is a smorgasbord of topics but all useful. If you have anything you’d like to read about, please email me. In the mean time here is an article about the lack of dental care in nursing homes from the New York Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/in-nursing-homes-an-epidemic-of-poor-dental-hygiene/?src=xps I’m in the process of teaching my 2 year old how to brush her teeth so she will have good, life-long dental habits. But what if you are older and unable to care for your teeth? What if you have to depend on someone else to brush and care for your teeth? If you or your parent are in a facility, is this something the staff pays attention to? They should. As Dr. Judith Jones of the Boston University dentistry program writes, “I always say you can measure quality in a nursing home by looking in people’s mouths, because it’s one of the last things to be taken care of,” said Dr. Judith A. Jones, chairwoman of the department of general dentistry at Boston University. “Aides change someone’s Depends, change a catheter or turn somebody every few hours, but teeth often don’t get brushed twice a day.” I encourage you to ask staff and management what their policies and training are for patient dental care. If you notice your loved one is in pain, don’t overlook the fact that it might be related to poor oral hygiene. Before I sign off I wanted to mention that people have been having trouble clicking on the links I post. You need to copy the link and paste it to your browser. This will take you to the article.

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