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Smile Proud

Oral Health Improvement in Nursing Homes

Smile Proud LogoThrough state civil money penalty projects, TMF Health Quality Institute works in conjunction with state governments to provide oral health improvement to address the daily oral hygiene needs of nursing home residents. Smile Proud projects focus on lowering rates of oral infections and chronic diseases such as pneumonia as well as reducing preventable oral health-related urgent care visits. Through in-person or virtual platforms, a TMF registered dental hygienist facilitates trainings to improve participant knowledge and skills to support oral care for residents in long-term care communities.

Previous Oral Health Project Success

TMF conducted projects focused on oral health in nursing homes on behalf of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Louisiana Department of Health and the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.

The risk of oral infection and increasing number of nursing home residents with natural teeth to maintain makes oral health care an important challenge to overcome. In 2017, TMF formed workgroups in Texas and Oklahoma to develop an educational nursing home oral health toolkit and staff curriculum. The education was provided to 120 nursing homes in four major Texas cities and 40 key cities across Oklahoma. In Louisiana TMF provided the toolkit and staff curriculum to 76 participating nursing homes. In 2021, TMF formed the Mississippi Oral Health Older Adult Workgroup and provided the toolkit and staff curriculum to 1923 staff across 53 participating Mississippi nursing homes.

TMF is currently conducting a second Smile Proud project in Texas with 36 Nursing Homes who receive on-site training.