Methods: This is a qualitative research based and guided by the American-Social-Construction Theoretical Support. It was interviewed 14 elderly (65-74 years old) with normal life activities. The interviews were digitally recorded and a transcription was performed in order to create a database containing the speeches of the elderly. All the speeches were analyzed, and Interpretative Repertories were constructed after that. The Interpretative repertories, which were social construction instruments of analysis, were organized in categories which allowed the researchers to access the meaning of oral health to the studied population.
Results: It was constructed the qualitative indicator “Oral-Health-Meaning-to-the-Elderly”, which indicates possible oral health subjective meanings as: 1.Beautiful Smile; 2.Suffering; 3.Feeling good with the mouth condition; 4.Overall Health; 5.Daily Hygiene.
Conclusions: The indicator Oral-health-meaning-to-the-elderly has sensibility, reproducibility and measurable standards. Surveys using this qualitative indicator will be possible to observe and analyze the oral health meaning to an elderly population and associate it with quantitative indicators. This indicator could enrich oral health studies understanding the subjective point-of-view of an elderly population. In other words, by looking for what is between the lines, this subjective indicator could reach and quantify what oral health means to specific elderly population.
Keywords: Elderly, Gerontology, Health Meaning and Psychology