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Dental therapists spread the word on optimising oral health following 2021 Seniors EXPO

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Dental therapists Leonie Short and April van den Elsen were pleased to be out and about in the Ipswich community last week promoting better oral health care.

On Tuesday, October 19, the dental therapists attended the 2021 Seniors EXPO, held at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

They then conducted oral health care training for a group of nurses and carers with Churches of Christ Community Care in Booval, Ipswich, on Thursday, October 21.

Short, who is the owner and director of Seniors Dental Care Australia, told Aged Care News that she was pleased to see that seniors, nurses and carers are keen to learn about best-practice for looking after teeth, gums and dentures as well as how, when and to whom to refer clients for a dental consultation or for dental treatment.

“Service providers are realising that oral health impacts quality of life in terms of a client’s ability to talk, eat and socialise with others,” she said.

It is a direct response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which highlighted dental care as a common area of neglect in residential aged care.

Short told Aged Care News that some of her key tips for aged care workers and nurses included:

  • Cleaning dentures with a denture brush and soap (not a toothbrush and toothpaste)
  • Leaving dentures dry overnight (not soaking)
  • Spitting only after brushing (not rinsing and spitting)
  • Referring clients to mobile and virtual dental and denture providers (as well as to conventional dental practices)  

For aged care workers and nurses who would like to learn more about proper dental care practices, Latrobe University has released a series of free, educational modules.

To find out more, follow this link.

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