Department of Health

Dental health for SRS residents

Key messages

  • Poor oral health can contribute to other health problems
  • The department expects that proprietors ensure residents have access to tooth brushes and tooth paste
  • SRS residents who are healthcare or pensioner concession cardholders are eligible for public dental care.

Promote oral health for overall health

Oral health is important for overall health, so:

  • residents should be encouraged to maintain their oral health by eating well, limiting sugary food and drinks and drinking fluoridated tap water
  • residents should brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day
  • residents are encouraged to quit smoking to improve oral and general health
  • residents should be aware of the effects of medication can have on their mouth
  • residents should have regular oral health checks by a professional
  • staff should be encouraged to support residents to look after their teeth and dentures.

Failure to take care of teeth leads to health problems including:

  • tooth decay
  • gum infections and chronic gum disease
    • if residents with diabetes develop gum disease, their diabetes becomes more difficult to control, and the likelihood diabetic complications increases
  • people with poor oral health are more likely to have poor physical health.

Standard 9 of the SRS Health and Wellbeing Standards outlines that proprietors need to ensure residents have access to an appropriate range of toiletries.

The Department expects that proprietors ensure residents have access to tooth brushes and tooth paste.

Pension-Level SRS Oral health promotion initiative

The pension level SRS oral health promotion initiative operating in pension level (SAAVI and PLP assisted) SRS aims to improve the oral health of assisted pension level SRS residents.

The department funds a number of agencies to deliver the program..

The dental hygienist /dental assistant can:

  • undertake oral health assessments
  • refer residents to clinic-based treatment if required
  • provide group education for residents
  • provide oral health kits/resources to residents (tooth brushes and toothpaste)
  • provide information and education to SRS proprietors and staff to assist staff to support residents to improve their oral hygiene and oral health.
  • assist SRS staff to include oral health goals within residents’ support plans.

Service providers include:

East – EACH

North – Haven Home Safe

West – Cohealth, Ballarat Health Services & genU

South – Star Health, Monash Health & Latrobe Community Health Service

Contact the service provider in your area and ask to speak to the SRS oral health program to arrange for a service to visit your SRS.

Access to public dental clinics

SRS residents who are healthcare or pensioner concession cardholders are eligible for public dental care and receive priority access to those services.

People who have priority access to dental care are offered the next available appointment for general care and are not placed on a waiting list.

For further information about eligibility and access visit the Dental Health program website.

Public dental services are provided through the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne (RDHM) and over 50 integrated and registered community health services across Victoria. For contact details for these agencies visit the Dental Health Services website.

Reviewed 24 October 2022

Health.vic

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Dental health program Department of Health

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