Nurse-administered oral hygiene is considered to be an important intervention in acutely ill hospitalized patients who cannot provide their own oral care. Oral care provides patients’ comfort, reduces dental plaque and mucosal inflammation, and promotes oral health. The prevalence of hospital-acquired infection is a significant concern in acutely and critically ill patients; in combination with other strategies, oral hygiene can contribute to the prevention of ventilator- associated pneumonia (VAP) in intubated patients.
Develop and implement a comprehensive oral hygiene program for patients in critical care and acute care settings, including both intubated patients who are at high risk for ventilator-associated complications, including VAP, and nonintubated patients.
Brush teeth, gums, and tongue at least twice a day using a soft, compact head (pediatric or adult) toothbrush. [level E]
Provide oral moisturizing to oral mucosa and lips every 2 to 4 hours. [level E]