'Healthy Lifesmiles' - An Oral Health Information Programme for Carers of Older People

The Dental Service Oral Health Promotion Team in HSE Dublin North East has developed and tested an Oral Health Promotion Programme called 'Healthy Lifesmiles' for carers of older people. This Programme consists of an Information Pack and Training for Carers of Older People to help them to look after the oral health of older people in their care.

Programme Aim:

To improve the quality of older people's oral health.

Background:

Oral health refers to the health of the mouth, teeth, gums, tongue and lips and associated structures. Oral health is an integral part of general health and good oral health is important for overall quality of life. The current cohort of older Irish people has low expectations in relation to their oral health and most only attend the dentist when they require treatment. Older people may suffer from tooth loss, affecting their quality of life. Ill fitting dentures can affect their ability to eat and speak properly. Older people in hospital or residential care may need help in maintaining their oral health.