Den­tal ser­vice to put the bite on poor oral hy­giene

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

VIR­GIN Care’s Sur­rey Com­mu­nity Den­tal Ser­vice has been run­ning a num­ber of ini­tia­tives over the sum­mer to pro­mote good oral health.

There was an al­most 20 per cent in­crease in chil­dren be­ing ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal with tooth de­cay be­tween 2010 and 2015, and around 40% of chil­dren do not visit the den­tist.

Sur­rey’s Com­mu­nity Den­tal Ser­vice, a re­fer­ral ser­vice for peo­ple who due to a va­ri­ety of needs have been un­able to bene­firt from a Gen­eral Den­tal Prac­tice, de­liv­ered tar­geted health pro­mo­tion mes­sages at 17 venues, in­clud­ing chil­dren’s cen­tres, schools and res­i­den­tial care homes across Guild­ford and Waver­ley.

And in Wok­ing town cen­tre, young mums were given in­for­ma­tion about how and when to reg­is­ter their ba­bies with a den­tist, and tips on how to sooth their baby’s teething.

The ser­vice also met newly-ar­rived refugee adults at St Saviour’s Church in Guild­ford to teach them the im­por­tance of den­tal health in them­selves and chil­dren.

The main mes­sages high­lighted in venues, such as refugee cafés, were pre­vent­ing de­cay by re­duc­ing the amount of sugar, lim­it­ing sweet foods and drinks to meal­times and the im­por­tance of den­tal check-ups.

In a Messy Mon­day ses­sion at Wey­bridge Chil­dren’s their Cen­tre more than 20 chil­dren, their par­ents and Vir­gin Care col­leagues got in­volved in learn­ing about friendly foods for teeth and how to brush cor­rectly by us­ing a gi­ant tooth­brush to brush away bub­bles on a pair of big teeth to re­veal the friendly foods.

Par­ents and chil­dren said they gained an un­der­stand­ing about the cause and process of den­tal de­cay, hid­den su­gars, the po­ten­tial bar­ri­ers to den­tal health and how to make brush­ing a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

A se­lec­tion of tooth­pastes, brushes and stick­ers were given out in Smile Month goodie bags.

Bar­bara Billing­ton, Oral Health Pro­mo­tion Lead for Vir­gin Care in Sur­rey, said: “Poor oral health isn’t just about prob­lems in­side the mouth.

“A smile is hugely im­por­tant to our per­son­al­i­ties, self­con­fi­dence, re­la­tion­ships and suc­cess. Our gen­eral health is also at risk.”

Vir­gin Care runs Sur­rey’s Com­mu­nity Den­tal Ser­vice on be­half of the lo­cal NHS.

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