This guideline covers oral health, including dental health and daily mouth care, for adults in care homes. The aim is to maintain and improve their oral health and ensure timely access to dental treatment.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Care home managers
  • Residential and nursing care home staff who provide daily personal care to residents
  • People who provide oral health services to care homes (for example, community dental services, general dental practices, oral health promotion teams)
  • Local authorities, the NHS and service providers with a remit for the health and care of adults who live in care homes
  • Organisations concerned with the quality of care in care homes (for example, the Care Quality Commission, local authorities, the health and wellbeing board and Healthwatch)
  • Commissioners of care home services
  • People who live in care homes, or stay for short or long periods of time, their families, carers and friends

Is this guideline up to date?

We checked this guideline in June 2018. We found no new evidence that affects the recommendations in this guideline.

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)