Crest 'Pro' uses grant to improve care among elderly with dementia

Ann Benson Ross, winner of the Crest Oral-B Pros in the Profession Grant for “Advancing Oral Health in the Community,” has used the $5,000 grant to upgrade the Mobile Dentistry of Arizona’s portable office, provide dental services to elderly dementia patients who have limited access to oral care, and train staff so they can continue to help patients maintain their oral health routines.

Mar 19th, 2013
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Ann Benson Ross, winner of the Crest Oral-B Pros in the Profession Grant for “Advancing Oral Health in the Community,” has transformed the way elderly in her community of Mesa, Arizona, and surrounding areas, receive oral care. A dental hygienist for more than 20 years, Ross used the $5,000 grant to upgrade the Mobile Dentistry of Arizona’s portable office, provide dental services to elderly dementia patients who have limited access to oral care, and train staff so they can continue to help patients maintain their oral health routines. This grant program is one of many ways Crest Oral-B is supporting dental hygienists as part of its year-long program celebrating 100 years of dental hygiene.

“Over the past few years through the Pros in the Profession program, Crest Oral-B has rewarded deserving professionals, as nominated by their peers, who truly make an impact on the oral health of others by supporting causes important to them and their communities. As a recipient of this award, Ann continues to transform patients’ lives, and we are so proud to support her in this way,” said Dr. Veronica Sanchez, Global Scientific Communications Director, Procter and Gamble. “We are honored to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the dental hygiene profession with such an inspiring professional.”

Ross was awarded the Crest Oral-B Pros in the Profession Grant to fulfill her goal of providing preventive care for residents of local memory care communities, including x-rays, assessments, oral cancer screenings, cleanings, and fluoride varnishes to each eligible resident. The project was also devoted to training caregivers by giving them basic information about oral health and hands-on care so they could maintain their residents’ daily oral regimens. The hands-on training was held with patients and their caregivers at three different times — morning, evening and before bedtime — for residents with mild, moderate, and advanced dementia. To help maintain a daily oral care regimen, each participating resident and caregiver received an Oral-B power toothbrush as well as Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health products, including toothpaste, rinse and floss.

“This project was an enlightening experience on many different levels, from the interaction with the family members to the caregivers and patients themselves – it was a wonderful project for me and all who participated,” said Ross. “We saw a mixture of oral health concerns from the residents, including poor oral hygiene, tooth decay, periodontal disease, gingivitis and ill-fitting dentures. Without the help of Crest Oral-B, we wouldn’t have been able to address these oral care needs and help so many people.”

In addition to the patient services and caregiver training, Ross is producing a training video to be shared with health providers throughout the community which will include photos and testimonials of patients who participated in the project. This video will be given to all memory care communities visited by Mobile Dentistry of Arizona to instruct caregivers on oral hygiene tips and best practices when working with dementia patients at every stage of the condition.

For more information about Ann Benson Ross and the Crest Oral-B Pros in the Profession program, visit prosintheprofession.com. To learn more about the 100-year anniversary of dental hygiene celebration or to get involved, follow the festivities at Facebook.com/professionalcrestoralb and visit the Crest Oral-B booth at dental conventions throughout the year. To learn more about Crest and Oral-B product news, visit dentalcare.com.

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