Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust have a dedicated Mouth Care Nurse. A large part of the role is providing mouthcare training to all nursing staff, foundation doctors and healthcare professionals. They provide one-to-one oral health advice and instruction to more vulnerable patients, such as those who may have learning disabilities, and to their carers.
The mouth is important for eating, drinking, speech, communication, taste, breathing and the immune system.
- Keep the oral mucosa and lips clean, soft, moist and intact.
- Remove, and prevent the build-up of food debris/dental plaque without damaging the gingiva.
- Alleviate pain/discomfort.
- Prevent halitosis and freshen the mouth.
- Maintain oral function.
- Decrease the risk of oral and systemic infection.
- Increase general well-being.
Mouth Care is important for everyone but is particularly important to our patients. Poor oral hygiene can lead to patients refusing to eat and drink which can lead to them becoming more unwell and extending their stay in hospital.
- We advise patients and / carers if they know they are due to come into hospital to bring their denture pot and denture fixative if they use it.
- We advise patients, family and /carers if they have been admitted to hospital unexpectedly and don’t have their denture pot or denture fixative, please let the staff know, so they can help.
- We advise patients not to leave their denture(s) wrapped in tissue or kept in their pockets after taking them out to eat or sleep.
- We advise patients to ensure their dentures are kept safe, to keep them in a named, lidded denture pot.
- Dentures should be cleaned with denture cream or with mild hand soap daily. Do not use bleach or toothpaste to clean your denture.
- Use a separate brush to clean your denture to your toothbrush. When cleaning the dentures, brush over a bowl of water not over a hard sink.
- It is important that you clean your mouth and dentures twice a day.
- Ideally dentures should be left out overnight in a lidded named denture pot unless there are specific reasons for keeping them in. Leaving your dentures out at night allows the lining of mouth to recover from wearing dentures all day.
- Never soak dentures in hot water, it can cause your dentures to warp.
- If you develop denture stomatitis under your denture it is important that your dentures are cleaned daily. You can soak your denture in Chlorhexidine 0.2% for 15minutes and rinsed thoroughly before putting your denture back in your mouth.
- Ask your dentist to mark your denture with your name / identifying number.
- If you are unable to ask your dentist to mark your denture, you can mark your denture with a denture marking kit which you can purchase online or directly from suppliers.
- It’s important to see your dentist for regular check-ups so that can check your mouth and your dentures.
Referring to Community Medway Dental services for West Kent
Your GP, dentist or a healthcare professional can refer to Medway Community HealthCare Dental service by completing an online referral at https://www.medwaycommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our-services/community-dental-service/referral-form/
Contact details for Medway Community Healthcare
Medway Community Healthcare CIC
MCH House, Bailey Drive, Gillingham, Kent ME8 0PZ
Tel: 01634 337593
Referring to Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Dental services for Domiciliary and Special Care Dentistry for East Kent
Your GP, dentist or a healthcare professional can refer to Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust by completing an online referral at https://www.kentcht.nhs.uk/service/dental-services/
Contact details for Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Capital House, Jubilee Way, Faversham, Kent ME13 8GD
Tel: 0300 7900 158
Referring to Bromley Healthcare for Special Care Dentistry for Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich
Your GP, dentist or a healthcare professional can refer to Bromley HealthCare Dental service by completing an online referral at https://www.bromleyhealthcare.org.uk/explore-our-services/communitydentalservices/
Contact details for Bromley Healthcare
Kent Helpline (Formerly Find a dentist)
NHS Choices (Find a Dentist)
Band 1 course of treatment – £25.80
This covers examinations, diagnosis (including radiographs), advice on how to prevent future problems, scale and polish if clinically necessary, and preventative care (for example, applications of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant).
Urgent dental treatment – £25.80
This band covers emergency care, such as pain relief or a temporary filling, in a primary care dental practice
Band 2 course of treatment – £70.70
This covers everything listed in Band 1, plus any further treatment, such as fillings, root canal work, or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.
Band 3 course of treatment – £306.80
This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures, bridges, and other laboratory work.
Who's entitled to free dental care?
If one or more of the criteria listed below applies to you when your treatment starts, you'll be entitled to free NHS dental care.
You're entitled if you are:
- aged under 18, or under 19 and in qualifying full-time education
- pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
- staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
- an NHS hospital dental service outpatient – but you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges
You're also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependent of someone receiving:
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Universal Credit and meet the criteria
If you're entitled to or named on:
- a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate – if you don't have a certificate, you can show your award notice; you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have an income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
- a valid HC2 certificate
People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.
You won't be exempt from paying because you receive Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit Savings Credit.
Medical conditions don't exempt patients from payment for dental treatment. You'll be asked to show your dentist written proof that you don't have to pay for all or part of your NHS treatment. You will also be asked to sign a form to confirm that you don't have to pay.
Get help with dental costs
You'll only ever be asked to pay one charge for each complete course of treatment, even if you need to visit your dentist more than once to finish it. If you're referred to another dentist for another, separate course of treatment, you can expect a second charge. Some minor treatments are free.
NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS)
If you have a low income, you may be able to get help with NHS costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).
The scheme covers:
You can apply for the scheme as long as your savings, investments or property (not counting the place you live) don't exceed the capital limit. Any help you're entitled to is also available to your partner and any dependent young people.
How to apply
Depending on your circumstances, you can receive full help (HC2 certificate) or partial help (HC3 certificate).
You qualify for full help if your income is less than or equal to your requirements, or is greater than your requirements by no more than half the current English prescription charge.
If your income exceeds this limit, you may be entitled to partial help. Your certificate will show how much you have to pay towards your health costs.
To apply for your certificate, you'll need to complete an HC1 form and post it to the address provided on the form.
Please see below to download HC1 form
If you wrongly make a claim for a dental charge, you may be sent a penalty charge notice. You would have to pay the cost of the dental charge, plus a penalty charge of up to £100. You may also be prosecuted for an offence that can lead to a criminal record.