There are plenty of opportunities for improvement in the field of health care–associated infection prevention.1,6 As a consequence, continuous educational efforts focused on cost-effective evidence-based strategies remain essential.7,10 This is also true for oral hygiene practice.11 

A study by Grap et al12 revealed that the primary tools for performing oral care were sponge toothettes, although these are ineffective for removing dental plaque. Also, oral care practices are generally poorly documented in patient’s files. According to a European survey in 59 intensive care units (ICUs), 93% of nurses perceived oral hygiene in mechanically ventilated patients to be of high priority.13 However, 68% of nurses find cleaning the oral cavity in such patients difficult, 40% find it unpleasant, and 73% indicated they need better supplies and equipment.

Clearly, the importance of oral hygiene to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia should continuously be stressed...

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