A certified Nursing Assistant who takes care of the elderly

In the next section of our CNA Skill Set Test Study Guide, we will be covering the procedures for mouth care. This is one of the easiest practical evolutions, however, you can also fail it very easily.

The steps to oral care are relatively easy and straightforward. But the most important part, and the subsequent part that will make you fail, is the management of sanitation and contamination. You can forget a step or two, but if you endanger your patient by performing unsafe practices or causing contamination, you will fail the test and not get certified.

Therefore, it is extremely important that you take heed and verify that each step is performed and contamination is minimized while sanitation is maximized.

Remember, like all of our procedures, you should always start by entering the room, announcing that you are there and that you will be doing the procedure. Then wash your hands and verify that the room is prepped.

Oral Care Steps

  1. Place the resident in a comfortable position or a Fowler’s position.
  2. While performing this step, try to minimize the fouling of their clothing. If you do get an area wet, ensure that you clean them or change their clothes after you are done. If they are incontinent or are likely to drool, then place a bib around them for this process.
  3. Apply toothpaste to the wet tooth brush.
  4. Ask the patient to open their mouth and commence brushing. Using a circular motion, scrub their teeth, tongue and gently scrub their gums.
  5. Allow the patient the ability to rinse their mouth out.
  6. Check the area and ensure the patient is dry.
  7. Check the patient for any sores or bleeding. If the patient does rinse, check to verify no blood comes out when they spit.
  8. If you used a bib, dispose of it properly.

Video Exercise to Help you Visualize and Practice this Section

Here is a video on oral care that should help to illustrate the above steps in performing dental care.

CNA Skills Set: Dental Care for CNAs by