Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene

Research links proper oral care to improved general health. A healthy mouth leads to less illness and disease, allowing you to enjoy a wider variety of foods, leading to improved nutrition, well being and quality of life, including a bright, healthy smile.


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Dental Hygiene & Common Ailments & Conditions


  • Diabetics have a great risk of gum disease and oral infections. Better oral health leads to fewer infections and other complications for those suffering from Diabetes.

Heart Attack & Stroke

  • New research shows that poor oral health can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke due to the spread of bacteria from the mouth to other areas of the body.


  • People with poor oral hygiene have elevated levels of bacteria in their mouths. Surprisingly, breathing can transfer bacteria to the lungs leading to a higher risk of pneumonia.

Artificial Heart Valve & Artificial Joint Prosthesis

  • Gum inflammation allows bacteria from the mouth to enter the bloodstream which may lead to serious infection of the heart or joints.


  • Some medications may cause gum inflammation and/or a dry mouth. Proper hygiene care minimizes the likelihood of infection and tooth enamel and root surface decay.


  • This disease has a great risk of periodontal bone loss therefore maintaining frequent teeth scaling/cleaning will help minimize osteoporosis.


  • Diet has the potential to improve dental and overall health. Poor oral hygiene/health may decrease nutrients consumed due to ill fitting dentures or sensitivity of teeth and/or gums.

Oral Cancer

  • A healthy mouth is crucial before starting any type of radiation treatment. In all cases, dental cleanings are not recommended during active radiation or chemo-therapy treatments.


  • Proper fitting dentures allow proper chewing of food, promoting good nutrition and overall health.


Dental Hygiene Care for Retirement Communities & Long Term Care

How it works

  • I require a detailed medical/dental history form completed by residents/patients
  • I may require medical clearance from their physician for any health complications
  • I may administer antibiotics prior to appointment if indicated by a physician
  • Consent for treatment and disclosure of medical records by resident or Power of Attorney

What I provide

  • All mobile equipment, tools and supplies for treatment
  • All record keeping protocols, billings, collections, insurance submissions
  • Sample of oral hygiene aids and products, educational pamphlets and written instructions
  • Referrals to other Dental Health care providers
  • Continued in-house records for all oral care treatments and recommendations will be documented
  • Staff education and support in oral hygiene procedures
  • Liability Insurance

Your Commitment

  • A room or an area with access to electricity and water
  • Support from administrators and staff in accessing medical records and medications prescribed for the client
  • Collaboration in marketing the service, distributing literature and directing any oral health concerns
  • Assistance where necessary in the transport or lifting of clients
  • Advise resident history with behavioural concerns or any other concerns which may affect treatment options, abilities and outcomes


Scope of Practice

Dental Hygienists are part of the Regulated Health Act. We contribute to overall health through prevention of oral disease and promotion of oral health by assessing oral condition, planning treatment, implementing and evaluating outcomes. We are responsible for professional treatment to help prevent periodontal disease and dental caries (cavities).

This includes:

  • Review and analyze detailed medical and dental history
  • Assessment of oral health including periodontal exam and cavity screening
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Head and neck exam
  • Tooth desensitization
  • Denture cleaning and condition of the denture
  • Oral hygiene instruction
  • Client and caregiver education as to high risk concerns
  • Referrals to other health professionals as required
  • Dental cleaning which includes polishing (if necessary) for stain removal, scaling of teeth and root planning

Contraindications for Scaling, Root Planning

A dental hygienist shall not self-initiate scaling and root planning when any of the following are reported or known to be present:

  • Any cardiac condition for which antibiotic prophylaxis is recommended in the guidelines set by the American Heart Association
  • Any immuno-compromised resident that may require antibiotic prophylaxis as a result of health complications
  • Active chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Blood disorders
  • Active tuberculosis
  • High risk endocarditis
  • Joint replacement e.g. hip or knee
  • Heart valve replacement or repair

Mobile Dental Equipment & Supplies

This is some of the equipment I will bring into the nursing home:

  • A self contained dental unit consisting of a compressor, high volume suction, air/water syringe, low speed hand piece and cavitron scaler
  • Portable dental chair (in some cases treatment can be performed in wheelchairs, recliners’ or hospital style beds)
  • Sterilized dental instruments and disposable tools
  • Gloves, masks, bibs, gauze, wipes and all other disposable needs of the visit
  • Oral hygiene samples and aids, client and caregiver pamphlets and written instruction sheets
  • Oral hygiene samples and aids for residents and caregivers to improve oral health

Sterilization & Infection Protocols

All guidelines and practices standards in sterilization and infection control are met as set out by the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario and Health Canada. Sterilized instruments bagged, disposable products used where possible, all surfaces wiped and disinfected between clients, gloves and mask worn by the provider, protective eye gear provided for the client.