The improved dental health in most industrialized countries is not apparent among elderly and long-term care patients. Oral healthcare has been found to have low priority in nursing care. To create lasting positive effects in oral healthcare education, a new educational model was tested in an oral healthcare project. After approval from ethical committee, nursing assistant and nurses' aides took part in a dental auscultation period at a dental clinic to serve as oral care aides additional to traditional oral healthcare education. Following this period, the aides were given responsibility for the oral healthcare at their ward. After serving as oral care aides for 1 year, interviews were made and analysed based on the Grounded Theory methodology. The aim was to investigate how the oral care aides had experienced their new duties regarding oral healthcare. The results indicated that, despite several environmental changes, reluctant residents and occasional lack of commitment from colleagues, the oral care aides felt responsible for the oral healthcare provision. The oral care aides expressed courage, the capacity to cope with reality, confirmation and empathy, characteristics that propelled them from novices to oral care aides with an expert competence.