Oral Health of Older Adults in Long-Term Care Facilities: Effects of an Oral Care Program

Jih-Hsuan Wu, Megan F. Liu, Mu-Hsing Ho, Chia-Chi Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and Objectives: Examine the effects of an oral care program among older adults in long-term care facilities. Background: The inability to use oral care instruments and incorporate oral care in nursing care routines makes oral care easy to neglect. Poor oral care increases food residue in oral cavities, dental plaque, and oral mucosa problems. Design: The design of this study was a quasi-experimental study. Fifty-four participants were recruited by convenience sampling from two long-term care facilities in northern Taiwan, and they were randomly assigned to either an experimental group (n = 24) or a control group (n = 30). Methods: Participants within the experimental group received four-week of an oral care program, while participants in the control group received routine oral care. Participants were interviewed before and after the program regrading demographic information, subjective oral health status, and objective oral health status. The subjective oral health status was measured by the Oral Health Impact Scale-14 (OHIP-14), and the objective oral health status was measured by the plaque status as well as the Oral Health Assessment Tool (OHAT). Results: The study results showed that the OHAT results (F=21.094, p<0.01) and plaque status (F=4.438, p<0.05) of the experimental group improved significantly. Conclusions: Older adults living in long-term care facilities have a high frequency of oral problems and a comprehensive oral care program may improve their oral health. Relevance to Clinical Practice: It is imperative to educate caregivers in long-term care facilities on the importance of oral care, especially regular oral care is needed for older adults as it is part of their quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Oral Health and Dental Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Long-term care facility
  • Oral care
  • Elders


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