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Oral healthcare for older people

We campaign for better oral health for older people across the UK.

NICE quality standard for oral health in care homes

We provided evidence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on a new quality standard for oral health in care homes (2017), which includes:

  • Adults who move into a care home have their mouth care needs assessed on admission
  • Adults living in care homes have their mouth care needs recorded in their personal care plan
  • Adults living in care homes are supported to clean their teeth twice a day and to carry out daily care for their dentures.

2012 Check-up: oral health challenges of ageing population

Our 2012 Check-up policy document was produced in response to concerns from the BDA’s membership about whether those responsible for planning and delivering dental care were prepared for the evolving oral health challenges of the ageing population. The report made 21 recommendations to improve the oral healthcare of older adults. To date, the BDA considers that only seven of the 2003 recommendations have been met in full. With the NHS, public health and social care services in England in the middle of the most comprehensive reforms for over 60 years, the BDA has taken the opportunity to review its original report.

This short report provides a check-up on the 21 recommendations, and updates demographic information and recommendations for how commissioners and social care services can ensure that the oral health needs of their patients are met.

BDA Northern Ireland continues to highlight the crisis on oral health for older people. It has written a comprehensive letter to the Department of Health Acting Director of Workforce on action required to meet the needs of this growing population. BDA Northern Ireland has also been invited to join an HSCB elderly care pilot and will feed in regarding oral health needs of patients. 

Older People Report

In 2003 the BDA created the Oral Healthcare for Older People – 2020 Vision which examined the anticipated demographics of the older persons’ population in 2020 and their oral health characteristics. This forecast a vision of the supply of oral health services for older people in 2020 and made a number of recommendations which sought to ensure the needs of this group would be met. In 2010 the BDA has begun work to update this vision in light of the changes in the health services across the four nations.

In addition to the policy paper is an information leaflet for carers – Caring for older people’s teeth.​

​Want to know more?

If you'd like a briefing on any of these issues or to know more, please get in touch


​Campaigning for better oral health

When it comes to oral health, we believe in prevention first: tooth decay is an avoidable disease and we are campaigning for Government's to take this problem seriously, to act now and invest in real prevention. 


Read our latest blogs on the topic of public health in dentistry.

Through our policy and campaigning work, we ensure that the concerns of all sections of the profession are raised and that dentists' voices are heard at a national level.


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