Effect of oral health education for the elderly in the community and long-term care institutions

Shao Ching Chen, Yih Jin Hu*, Rui Shan Zhang, Ming Fang Yen, Jin Shun Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate the influence of oral health education intervention on eating, oral health, chewing, and oral function of elderly in community and long-term care institutions. Methods: A quasi-experimental study involving a non-equivalent control group design was conducted in the community and long-term care institutions in Taipei City. Two hundred thirty- two elderly > 65 years of age were recruited; 126 were community residents (experimental group [n=68] and control group [n=58]) and 106 were from long-term care institutions (experimental group [n=53] and control group [n=53]). The intervention for the experimental group included 12 weeks of oral training and 4 oral hygiene courses; no intervention was provided to the control group. Dentists and oral hygienists collected a survey before and after the intervention, and a questionnaire on oral function and oral hygiene was administered. Results: The elderly in the institutional group was significantly worse than the community group with respect to swallowing, pronunciation, motor activity of the cheeks, and chewing function. The entire experimental group had significant improvement in self-evaluation of oral health, tongue coating, dental plaque, swallowing time, and chewing function compared to the control group. With respect to dental plaque check and tongue coating, the entire experimental group exhibited statistically significant improvement. The entire and institutional experimental groups had improved swallowing function. The entire and institutional control group had worse chewing function, but no difference was observed in the experimental group. Conclusions: Oral health education promotes improved tongue coating, dental plaque, and oral function in the elderly. Based on the current study, it is recommended that community and long-term care institutions should continue to carry out oral health promotion, coordinate oral health care resources, and plan the education mode of different physiologic functions for the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun


  • Chewing function
  • Dental plaque
  • Elderly
  • Oral function training
  • Oral health education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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