National Oral Health Care for Seniors

All Canadians need access to preventive oral hygiene services. Yet for many vulnerable seniors, oral health care services are often unaffordable and inaccessible, putting them at greater risk for poor oral and overall health. That’s why seniors’ oral health has been a long-standing priority for CDHA. Learn more about our recommendations for supporting real, positive oral health outcomes for Canada’s seniors.

A Senior's Perspective

CDHA National Ad Campaign

Oral Health for Seniors

National Standards for Long-Term Care: Addressing Oral Health for Overall Health

CDHA welcomes a national discussion of priorities and opportunities to do better for people living in LTC homes across Canada. When it comes to national standards for providing safe, reliable, and high-quality care in LTC homes, meeting the oral health care needs of residents cannot be missed.

Full Report | Executive Summary

Recommendations at a Glance

1

CARE TEAMS WITH DENTAL HYGIENISTS

Professional staffing and interprofessional collaboration in long-term care homes should incorporate dental hygienists to ensure a comprehensive program of oral health services to meet the assessed oral health needs of residents.

2

ORAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR RESIDENTS

Oral health care services for long-term care home residents must include oral health assessments, the development of personalized oral health care plans, and the provision of daily mouth care by dental hygienists.

3

ORAL HEALTH EDUCATION FOR STAFF

All direct-care workers in long-term care homes should receive education on oral health. This education should be developed and delivered by dental hygienists.

4

ORAL HEALTH IN LEGISLATION PERTAINING TO LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

Legislation pertaining to long-term care homes across the country must reflect minimum standards for oral health care and related aspects.

5

ORAL HEALTH IN ACCREDITATION STANDARDS FOR LONG-TERM CARE HOMES

Accreditation standards specific to oral health services in long-term care settings should be developed and enforced.

 
Public Opinion Polling Results
on Seniors’ Oral Health in Canada

With our advocacy focus on seniors’ oral health, we commissioned a national survey of 2,200 Canadian residents from January 7 to 12, 2022, for their views and insights. The findings from Abacus Data suggest that most Canadians give the state of oral care for older Canadians and seniors a poor rating.

Poll Results: Seniors Oral Health in Canada (PDF)
Highlights: Seniors' Oral Health: What Canadians are Saying (PDF)

New Federal Funding For
Oral Health Care:
Seniors and Low-Income Canadians

Millions of Canadians do not have access to professional oral health care, which has an impact on their overall health. Sadly, this is the reality for many seniors and low-income Canadians. Those who do not have dental coverage and cannot afford the additional expense of oral hygiene services are at greater risk for poor oral and overall health. Watch for our soon-to-be-released policy paper on A National Oral Health Care Plan for Canadian Seniors.

Infographic: A National Oral Health Care Plan for Canadian Seniors (PDF)
Info sheet: A National Oral Health Care Plan for Canadian Seniors (PDF)

Add Your Voice!
National Standards for Long-Term
Care Must Address Oral Health!

Make your voice heard by joining CDHA’s digital advocacy campaign for national oral health standards for long-term care. It’s easy to do and takes less than 5 minutes, thanks to our digital tool, which includes a prepared email message that you just have to personalize with your name, postal code, and email address. Simply click send to deliver your message to federal and provincial politicians. United voices are always stronger and can make a real difference. Share this invitation and link with your colleagues, family, and friends today!

supportseniorsoralhealth.ca