Improving quality and efficiency in oral hygiene

J Gerontol Nurs. 1989 Jun;15(6):38-42. doi: 10.3928/0098-9134-19890601-09.


A large percentage of the residents in long-term care facilities are unable to achieve an acceptable level of oral hygiene due to mental and physical incapacities and must thus rely on nursing staff for daily oral care. Significant morbidity is associated with chronic inadequate oral hygiene. In addition, a lack of self-esteem related to poor dental status has been observed in some nursing home patients, leading to withdrawal from social interaction and personal isolation. The Collis Curve toothbrush removed more plaque than the straight bristle toothbrush. The curved bristle toothbrush was well received by the residents and well accepted by the nursing staff. A clinically significant number of staff reported that the curved bristle toothbrush made their job easier. Monitoring of the nurses' aides' brushing techniques during the study caused them to provide more effective oral hygiene than prior to the study. The importance of proper oral hygiene must be monitored and supported by nursing supervisors, regardless of the type of brush, used to achieve acceptable levels of oral hygiene.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Equipment Design
  • Geriatric Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Hygiene*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*