Key messages

  • Failure to take care of teeth leads to health problems
  • The department expects that proprietors ensure residents have access to tooth brushes and tooth paste
  • SRS residents who have a healthcare and pensioner concession card can access public funded dental services

Promote oral health for overall health

Oral health is important for overall health, so:

  • residents should clean their teeth twice a day using toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • residents should have regular dental 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 has been operating in pension level (SAAVI and PLP assisted) SRS for 5 years. The initiative aims to improve the oral health of assisted pension level SRS residents.

The department has funded various agencies for dental hygienists & dental nurse/assistants to visit pension level SRS. 

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 – Cohealth and Haven; Home, Safe 

West – Cohealth, Ballarat Health Service & GenU 

South – Star Health and Monash Health 

Phone 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 

Any SRS resident who has a healthcare and pensioner concession card can access public funded dental services within community clinics across Victoria. 

Pension level SRS residents have priority access to public dental care; especially if urgent care is required (for example care for tooth pain). There are 80 community dental clinics within Victoria, for a complete list of community dental clinics visit the Dental Health Services Victoria website.

Contact details