SCCQ partners with ACU to boost oral health in aged care

22 January 2024

Good oral health is an important part of our overall health and wellbeing. Poor oral health, particularly in older Australians, can cause serious complications and is an important subject attracting research focus within the aged care environment.

SCCQ has partnered with health researchers at Australian Catholic University (ACU), who will develop a new app-based protocol to improve the oral health and wellbeing of residential aged care residents, thanks to a $210,000 grant from aged care Research & Industry Innovation Australia (ARIIA).

In the joint project with Amelo Dental, ACU researchers will initially work with staff and residents at five SCCQ aged care homes to pilot and review the new protocol, with plans to then roll it out nationally during 2024.

The new protocol’s impact on health and wellbeing and staff confidence in oral health management will be compared to standard practices by measuring changes in oral health behaviours, social interaction, and diet before and after its introduction.

Lead research Dr Kieran Flanagan, a speech pathologist and aged care researcher at ACU, said the purpose behind trialling an app-based oral health protocol is to help educate aged care staff and provide the right oral products for residents in aged care.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide a protocol for better oral health care that leads to better health and quality of life, and for this protocol to be used broadly across the nation in residential health, and that’s something we can all smile about”, said Dr Flanagan.

If you or your family member are an SCCQ aged care resident and wish to participate in this research study, please contact Sandra Glaister on