Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust have a dedicated Mouth Care Specialist 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 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 twice a day.
- Dentures should be left out overnight to give your gums a chance to breathe.
- Soak dentures overnight, in a labelled and lidded denture pot to prevent them from drying out. Never use hot water, which can cause your dentures to warp
- If you develop oral thrush under your denture / dental infection it is important that your dentures are cleaned daily. You can soak you denture in Chlorhexidine 0.2% fir 15minutes and rinsed thoroughly.
- If your denture is ill fitting, please ask your dentists to check them.
- It’s important to see your dentist for regular check-ups.