Dependent Care

Implementing oral hygiene protocols in nursing facilities and dependent care settings decreases the incidence of pneumonias and prevents 1 in 10 pneumonia deaths.

Online resources are available for providing oral health education for nursing staff.

Oral Hygiene Protocols

  • Staff members are educated about the importance of oral care.
  • Designated oral hygiene aides are trained.
  • Oral assessment is performed.
  • Supplies are available.
  • Daily care is documented.
  • Oral care occurs with limited interruptions.
  • Infection control protocols are maintained
Blend Images/Punchstock
Blend Images/Punchstock


Bassim CW, Gibson G, et al. Modification of the risk of mortality from pneumonia with oral hygiene care. JAGS 2008; 56(9):1601-07.

Sjögren P, Nilsson E, Forsell M, et al. A systematic review of the preventive effect of oral hygiene on pneumonia and respiratory tract infection in elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes: effect estimates and methodological quality of randomized controlled trials. J Am Geriatr Soc 2008; 56:2124–30.

Nursing Home Oral Health: A Blueprint for Success 2012. Accessed on 3/7/2014

McGilton KS, Boscart V, Fox M, et al. A systematic review of the effectiveness of communication interventions for health care providers caring for patients in residential care settings. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2009; 6(3):149–159.