Dental service to put the bite on poor oral hygiene
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.