Online Learning.

The increasing need to improve oral healthcare of residents in Aged Care Facilities led DHA to work with cinchVIDEO in developing a series of online learning modules and videos to achieve this.

The online learning program deploys four video-based learning segments aimed at educating registered nurses and personal carers about the importance of maintaining their own oral health. Research evidence has shown that this encourages the carers in turn to improve the enthusiasm and ability of residents to value and care for their own oral hygiene.

The course segments cover a wide range of topics including:

  • Understanding the link between oral and general health
  • Identifying oral health issues
  • Helping residents effectively to clean their teeth and gums
  • Denture care
  • Recording and reporting problems in the mouth
  • Developing an oral health care plan

In recent years the organisation has succeeded in demonstrating the importance of improved oral health in residential aged care facilities of The Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution (RFBI).

RFBI has financially supported research and is currently supporting pilot programs under the auspices of Ass. Prof. Janet Wallace, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney. Janet heads the ‘Senior Smiles Program’.

The organisation has provided financial support to Rotary Club of Sydney for the training of indigenous students to become dental hygienists and has funded research in the ‘Putting the Mouth Back into Health” and the “Better Gums and Muscles” program.

These initiatives are integrated with the work of Lifespan Oral Health and the Brain & Mind Centre of Sydney University in a project that examines the impact of gum health and exercise programs on the wellbeing and the lifespan of aged care residents.

Gum disease, the new major threat to oral health.

While tooth decay across the community has been significantly reduced as a result of fluoridation of community water supplies, gum disease continues to be a major risk factor.

Inflamed and bleeding gums weaken the ability of gums to retain teeth, especially as people age. Together with saliva, bleeding gums harbour harmful bacteria that affect other health conditions, which are perceived by the wider population to be more serious and life-threatening (heart diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and more).

Oral hygiene – better and more regular cleaning of teeth and gums – remains an important way to manage gum diseases. Removal of the plaque by a dental professional greatly reduces the problems of gum disease.


“Over the past four years DHA has succeeded to demonstrate the importance of improved oral health initiatives in residential aged care facilities”

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