Classes and Training Past Events Educational Articles Grant’s Received

Oral Health Articles

Click below to learn more about good oral care as highlighted in the following articles, written by Carol Van Aernam, Registered Dental Hygienist, Iowa CareGivers Consultant. They are a great resource for all health professionals and can be reprinted in your organization’s newsletter and shared with people served, employees, family caregivers, and others in your community.

·         Why Oral Care is Important

·         Dry Mouth: (Xerostomia)

·         Bad Breath

·         Daily Oral Care and Flossing = Infection Control

·         Dementia and Oral Care

·         Toothbrushes

·         Dentures

·         Mouth Rinses

·         Diabetes And Your Mouth

·         COVID-19 and Oral Care

Oral Health Articles Tailored For Dietitians

·         There Is No Health Without Good Oral Health

·         Keep That Smile


Mouth Care Matters (MCM) Phase II: A Path to Implementation

MCM Phase II builds upon Phase I in which the MCM curriculum was developed, MCM instructors received MCM training, and direct care workers and licensed nurses received the MCM training. MCM Phase II will test provider partners’ success in utilization of the MCM Employer Implementation toolkit. The toolkit includes Mouth Care Matters in-services for all staff; Mouth Care Matters training for nurses; Mouth Care Matters for direct care staff; various oral health campaign materials and tools to aid in the integration of oral care into day to day practices.  Community colleges will play a vital role in the sustainability of the program by including MCM classes into their regularly scheduled classes in order for their local providers to ensure they can maintain at least 50% of their staff receive MCM training.

Project partners are Home Instead Senior Care Urbandale, Iowa Western Homes (2 locations), and Senior Housing Management. Evaluators are Iowa Healthcare Collaborative and University of Iowa Collage of Dentistry.

Mouth Care Matters Phase II: A Path to Implementation is Funded by the Retirement Research Foundation for Aging and Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and we are grateful! 

Click here for more details about the MCM Phase II Project

Delta Dental of Iowa and Mouth Care Matters

Educating on the oral health needs of older Iowans. Mouth Care Matters (MCM), administered by Iowa CareGivers, is an initiative of the Lifelong Smiles Coalition and supported in part by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. Since 2014, the Foundation has provided more than $284,000 to support program development and implement training throughout the state.

Click here to learn more.


14 More Mouth Care Matters Instructors Join the Corps 

Thanks to the University of Iowa College of Dentistry for Their Sponsorship and to Des Moines Area Community College for Donating the Space. None of this would be possible without the support of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and the Lifelong Smiles Coalition.

Click here to view the full photo gallery!

Mouth Care Matters: A Pilot Project With Promise

Mouth Care Matters is the first state-recognized, competency-based specialty under the Prepare to Care curriculum in the area of oral health care.  Those who successfully complete the training receive a state-issued certificate.

To get a glimpse into the highlights of the first two years of the project, please click here.


Mouth Care Matters Evaluation Yields Positive Results

Click here for Mouth Care Matters Executive Summary

Click here for Mouth Care Matters Full Evaluation Report

TWO MORE YEARS!  Thanks to Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation (DDIAF) and Mid-Iowa Health Foundation (MIHF) and Iowa Public Health Foundation (IDPH) Through a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement (#DP13-1307)

L to R (top):  Dr. Bob Russell, Suzanne Heckenlaible, and Jeff Russell, all of Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation; Carol Van Aernam, Maribel Slinde, Pam Biklen, and Mary Ann Young, all of Iowa CareGivers; and Dr. Jeff Chaffin, Delta Dental.

Click here to read Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s news release

L to R (bottom):  Katie Foley, Intern, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation (center) pictured with Mary Ann Young (left), and Pam Biklen (right), Iowa CareGivers

Click here to read Mid-Iowa Health Foundation’s news release


Public Radio Features Mouth Care Matters

WVIK News - Quad Cities National Public Radio (NPR) shared highlights about Mouth Care Matters with listeners!

Click here for story.