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HomeNewsHornsby Hospital is brushing up on its oral hygiene skills

Hornsby Hospital is brushing up on its oral hygiene skills

It is the daily ritual that can be sometimes overlooked when patients come to hospital with illness or injury, but brushing our pearly whites is vital for preventing further infections.

The BRUSH project has been launched recently aiming to improve patients’ oral hygiene practices while they are in hospital. BRUSH stands for Brush your teeth, Rinse when appropriate, Sit patient Upright, Standardise practice, Hand out oral health products.

Led by clinical nurse consultants, speech pathologists and the dental clinic, BRUSH raises the awareness among nursing staff, patients and their carers of the importance of keeping up our daily routine of brushing teeth.

Clinical Nurse Consultant Michelle Noon said poor oral hygiene led to an increase in hospital acquired respiratory infections.

“When we surveyed some patients about if they wanted any oral equipment (like toothbrushes) they said no and they were treating their stay in hospital like an oral hygiene holiday,” she said.

“Once you explain there is a direct link between poor oral hygiene and health acquired respiratory infections, many don’t realise.

“One of the barriers for patients, especially during these recent times, is that they present to emergency department with COVID-19 and aren’t prepared, so they are admitted and don’t realise they can ask a nurse for toothbrushes.”

Patients will see posters and tooth brushing prompts in the wards, while staff are being trained in prioritising access to oral health products for patients, as well as assisting patients who need help.

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