Scaling up and adapting the interventions for use in other settings
In this section of the website, we present several ideas for scaling up the Good Oral Health study. These ideas emerged in dialogue with collaborators at the state and local levels and have not been implemented. We describe them as ways that readers/reviewers can use the materials on this website to improve their oral health and hygiene education and prevention work with adults including older adults by rearranging and adapting the components.
Integrating oral health and hygiene into a state nutrition program
Most states offer nutrition programs and subsidized lunches to older adults, at home or in senior centers. These programs are variously called meals on wheels and community cafes but they may have other names as well. The objective of this model is to integrate oral health and hygiene education into nutritional education since they both target the same goals, achieving general health through good nutritional choices and proper brushing, flossing and cleaning of dentures.
The model engages nutrition educators in adding to their standard nutritional education curriculum education related to reasons for good oral health hygiene, an explanation of plaque and gingivitis, periodontal disease and how to prevent it, and demonstrations of proper tooth brushing and flossing. It can be implemented either by trained nutritionists, or others on site including lay educators (setting managers or participants/residents) who are trained in good oral health practices and how to educate others about them. Oral health components can be introduced through lectures and videos and Q and A at lunch or following lunch and can be supplemented by learning stations staffed by on site volunteers who introduce good practices and address some barriers to good practice identified by our study as important. The materials presented on this site such as FAQs and videos, as well as message-based posters addressing barriers and good practices can be adapted for this purpose.
Integrating oral health and hygiene education into dentists’ office waiting rooms.
This approach can be conducted by dental students who work with dental hygienists in private or publically funded dentist clinics/offices to coordinate cleanings with oral health and hygiene education. Hygienists fill out a simple form that indicates where there is plaque and/or gingivitis in a patient’s mouth. Trained dental students can then interview patients after their cleaning on barriers to good oral health, show them good practices with the use of a cell phone or tablet, and when feasible, allow them to practice on a typodont. This simple intervention can extend the reach of dental hygienists who do not have time to provide tailored education to each patient and can tailor an educational intervention through interviewing on barriers, and teaching to the dental hygienist’s report. Many of the materials on this website can be used to implement such an approach. Of course it would have to be adapted to meet the conditions of each program site.
For further information please contact the principal investigator, Jean Schensul