Dementia is a clinical syndrome of loss of intellectual capability. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the dominant subtype of dementia and is common among the elderly. Because of impaired memory and disturbed executive functioning, the elderly with AD often have difficulty to perform oral hygiene practice and are at high risk of dental caries and periodontal diseases. These dental problems are ambulatory care-sensitive conditions where effective community dental care can help prevent the need for hospital admission. Community dental care practitioners can formulate effective strategies for the elderly with AD to reduce their risk of dental diseases. One of these strategies is to integrate 5S into oral hygiene practice. 5S was originally developed for organising spaces for people to work efficiently, effectively, and safely. It consists of five steps which are (i) sorting to remove unnecessary items, (ii) setting-in-order to place the items in order of flow, (iii) shining to clean and maintain the environment, (iv) standardising to establish discipline for good oral hygiene habits, and (v) sustaining to keep 5S going by auditing and improving the environment and oral hygiene practice. This system helps the elderly with AD to put things where they belong and keep the workplace clean. Moreover, it facilitates the elderly with AD to perform oral hygiene practice without wasting time and risking injury. This paper discusses the use of 5S to help the elderly with AD build and sustain an effective oral hygiene practice habit to improve their oral health.
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