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A Welsh Government programme which helps improve the oral health of older people living in care homes has had its yearly funding doubled to half a million pounds.

First published:
23 December 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

This will enable the programme to be offered to all care homes in Wales from 2020/21.

The Gwên am Byth (A Lasting Smile) oral health improvement programme currently runs in over 52% of care homes across the seven health boards. The new investment will mean all care homes in Wales will be invited to join the programme from next year. 

Many residents have poor or inadequate oral health when they first move to their care home, often as a result of deteriorating health and mobility during the preceding years. 

The programme has supported older people to have better oral health and has assisted those with dementia who may have been unable to say they have tooth pain.

The additional funding will also help programme staff to explore ways to further support vulnerable older people living at home.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said:

Looking after our teeth is something that remains a priority throughout our life. Good oral health can help people’s health and wellbeing. The further funding announced today will ensure older people from across Wales will now benefit. As a dementia friendly nation I’m pleased to hear that the scheme is really delivering for some of the most vulnerable in our society.