A dental hygienist who is committed to delivering hygiene services to care home residents has spoken out about the importance of dental hygiene for older people. Jane Peterson describes dental care as “vital” for care home residents and said that more needs to be done to ensure that people understand the value of providing dental treatment and encouraging patients to take good care of their teeth.
Jane is passionate about living by the mantra that prevention is better than cure and claims that she sees the benefits of hygiene services at first hand. Many residents claim that they look forward to her visits because it gives them a better sense of wellbeing, and they enjoy the sensation of having fresh, clean, sparkly teeth. Most of us are aware that taking care of our teeth is essential for good oral health, but there is a growing body of evidence to support the link between oral health and general health. Providing preventative services like hygiene treatments can reduce the risk of oral diseases significantly, but it can also lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Jane spends one day a week working at a dental practice, but devotes most of her time to providing hygiene services in care homes. She said that the staff value her input and patients are grateful for the treatments she provides. Older people are encouraged to maintain their independence for as long as possible, but there often comes a time when they become reliant on carers, and it’s important that carers have the knowledge they need to support patients and help them to look after their teeth and gums.