Choosing a care home?

Check their oral health plan

Putting an elderly or special needs family member into care can be a heart-rending process at the best of times and the last thing you want to hear is that the home has a dangerous blind spot in the way they handle residents. Whatever place you choose, there will naturally be conversations about medication, leisure time, etc… But you would be shocked at how rarely dental plans are discussed and even more concerned once you realise that it’s been overlooked with potentially severe results.

How poor oral health affects bodily function

In the last 10 years, there has been a quiet revolution among medical professionals with an increasing awareness of how much poor oral health is related to severe health complications. Heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, the list of illnesses with dental symptoms goes on and on.

The link is so strong that here in the UK many doctors refer patients directly to dentists in advance, with even pregnant women given free NHS dental care before and immediately after their baby is born to head off any complications. There’s no question about it, the mouth is the gateway to the body and should be a major part of any healthcare plan.

Care homes had been overlooking oral care

Given how important oral care is, it’s truly shocking that until recently many care homes didn’t even acknowledge it. In 2019, the Care Quality Commission carried out a review of care homes in the UK and found the following:

52% of homes had no policy on oral health

47% didn’t train staff on daily oral healthcare

73% of care plans didn’t appropriately cover oral health

By their nature, care home residents need support in their daily lives. Not looking out for their dental health is a huge neglection of duty and puts them at real risk of life-altering disease. Thankfully, in 2020 the UK Government had enough and updated its advice to care homes emphasising the importance of oral healthcare plans for all residents.

Dealing with denture wearers in care

Unfortunately, dentures still carry something of an “ick factor”. The wearer can feel embarrassed at being seen without their teeth and not keen on having someone else wash them. The care workers themselves may also be unhappy about having to handle a smelly, dirty denture.

If your loved one wears a denture, you need to check that the care home’s oral health plan makes provision for this. If the denture wearer is capable, let them keep some dignity and give them the means to look after their own teeth or at least make it easy for someone else to clean them without needing to handle them too much. The best thing you can do is provide an effective, easy to use cleaner like Dr Marks HyGenie.

Dr Mark's HyGenie Denture Cleaner

Why is HyGenie the best denture cleaner?

HyGenie is a patented storage case and cleaner for oral appliances like dentures, retainers and mouth guards. It was designed for ease of use even for those with limited hand mobility and grip strength. The internal brushes can thoroughly clean all surfaces in under 60 seconds and the protective cage means your denture won’t break if you drop the cleaner in the sink! HyGenie is available from select online retailers but if you want us to point you towards a few drop us an email at or call on 01474 560 618.