NICE releases new guidelines for improved oral care in care homes

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The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) has released new guidelines to improve standards of oral care in care homes.
The move comes after figures suggested that more than half of adults living in care homes suffer from dental decay; the figures are higher than those associated with older people living in their own homes.
Research suggests that people living in care homes are less likely to have their natural teeth than those living in their own homes. Many older people are dealing with oral health problems in addition to underlying health conditions and dementia.
The new guidelines are designed to improve standards of oral care for older people living in care homes and improve training for health professionals who work in care homes. The new document recommends improved access to dental services for care home residents and training to enable care providers to look after the oral health of those in their care, as well as their general health.
Professor Liz Kay, from Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School, worked on the project as part of a specially designed development group. Prof Kay said that it was an honour to be involved in drawing up new guidelines, which she hopes, will enable older people to enjoy more dignity as well as better standards of oral health. The guide offers recommendations for daily oral healthcare routines, as well as recommendations for local dental health providers to expand services for older people.

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