Dentists call to stop the rot in older Australians’ oral health

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oral health for older Australians
Photo: Olena Kachmar – 123rf

A number of recommendations are to be presented by the Australian Dental Association NSW Branch (ADA NSW) to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety this Thursday (16 July)—the aim being to help curb the widespread and unacceptable neglect of older Australians’ oral care.

ADA NSW is urging the Government to introduce:

  • medicare-funded oral health check-ups for over-75s,
  • access to daily oral hygiene measures and denture cleaning,
  • more dental health education for aged care workers and carers,
  • an oral health assessment for every person entering a residential aged care facility (RACF);
  • and a public awareness campaign on the benefits of good oral health.

“Access to dental check-ups should be a basic right in 2020 for everyone, but older Australians are missing out,” ADA NSW president Dr Kathleen Matthews said.

“The economic impact of poor oral health for older Australians costs an estimated $750m a year, yet access to oral health care lags behind hairdressing and podiatry for our country’s elderly. 

“Without oral health there is no health, Dr Matthews added. “It’s time to stop the rot and ensure that oral health is a priority for older Australians.” 

View the ADA NSW’s recommendations here.

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