Education for nurses on the provision of oral care has remained for the most part unchanged for the past 120 years. When we do have evidence, research shows that we have not embraced these findings and changed our practice. For example, evidence demonstrates that tooth brushing is superior to foam swabbing; however, studies indicate that nurses continue to prefer the use of foam swabs to provide oral care in intensive care units. The Clinical Resources Task Force for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is currently reviewing all of the available practice alerts. The review for the practice alert related to oral care for patients at risk for ventilator-associated pneumonia affirmed that there is little evidence upon which to base practice recommendations for oral hygiene. There is even less evidence available for children. Much of the information is consensus level, and...

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