Nursing Facilities

Education of nursing staff is critical.

Consider the following facts:

  • 1.5 million elders live in nursing facilities.
  • Medicare and Medicaid require oral health assessments and care for residents.
  • However, studies show oral care is not consistently delivered. Only 16% receive any oral care, and average brushing time in one study was 16 seconds.
  • 70-90% of residents cannot brush their own teeth or care for dentures.
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Thinkstock Images/


Branson B, Simmer-Beck M, Addressing the oral health needs of long term care facility residents. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. 2013;11(8):31–35.

Johnson VB, Evidence-based practice guidelines: oral hygiene care for functionally dependent and cognitively impaired older adults. J Gerontol Nurs. 2012; 38:11–19.

Stein PS and Henry R, Poor oral hygiene in long-term care. American Journal of Nursing 2009; 109(44): 44-50.

Bassim CW, and Gibson G et al. Modification of the risk of mortality from pneumonia with oral hygiene care. JAGS 2008; 56(9):1601-1607.

Sjögren P, Nilsson E, and 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: 2124–2130.

Coleman P and Watson NM, Oral Care provided by certified nursing assistants in nursing homes. J Am Geriat Soc 2006; 54(1):138-143.

Werner CA, The Older Population, U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census Briefs. Accessed on 9/20/2021

Cornell University Law School, Legal Information Institute. 42 CFR 483.25 – Quality of care. Available at: Accessed 9/20/2021.

Al-Sulaiman A, Jones J, Geriatric oral health care delivery in the United States of America. Current Oral Health Reports. 2016; 3(3):164-170.