Internet Explorer and Edge browser users:
To download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files please right-click on the file you wish to download, and select 'Save target as...'

A dental student’s view: promoting oral health in the local community

Blog Author Simran Chahal

Blog Date 15/02/2019

ohp-day-4.jpg

Peninsula Dental Students with Barnardos Staff: (students pictured left to right) Christopher Moore, Kitty Ingarfield, Imran Saeed, Shana Shohal, Graeme Lowans, Vivienne Onamusi, Simran Chahal

 

All dental students at the University of Plymouth take part in an inter-professional engagement module, supported by local community health and wellbeing charity Well Connected, which sees us work with community organisations to deliver oral health messages and care in the local community.

 

It really opens our eyes to the problems and challenges some groups face when it comes to oral health, and I was proud to be part of a group working with the children's charity, Barnardo's, and visit a childcare setting to help promote good oral health.

 

We knew there would be two main groups to work with – parents, and children. 

 

For the children, we thought we'd do some fun things: dressing up as a dentist to get them familiar with the setting, helping them select healthier food options in a healthy eating kitchen, delivering arts and crafts with an oral health theme, and finally doing a story time with the book Open Wide Step Inside – which contains a two-minute brushing song.

 

ohp-day-open-wide-story-cropped.jpg

Ending the session with a reading of Open Wide Step Inside: (left to right) Shana Sohal, Simran Chahal, Kitty Ingarfield 

ohp-day-arts-crafts-cropped-2.jpg

​Arts and crafts station

ohp-day-arts-crafts-cropped.jpg

Arts and crafts activities with the children

ohp-day-dental-dress-up.jpg

Dental dress up

 


We also had a separate room for adults and new parents. I gave out information about brushing techniques, including when to start brushing, what happens if you have trauma, and then onto breast feeding, weaning, diet, and details about accessing NHS dental treatment when you are pregnant.

Parents were given an evaluation form, and every single one said they had learned something, and the children were delighted with the goody bags full of toothbrushes, toothpastes and brushing reward charts we gave out at the end. 

For me, it was a brilliant experience too, and showed the importance of raising awareness of oral health within the local community. 

To help sustain the message, we also developed a toolkit for parents to refer back to. Many of the questions people asked came from not knowing where to go for certain information, so we felt it was important to develop a resource that they could access.

I'd highly recommend other students do this type of activity, it's a great learning experience, and also a good thing to put on your CV!

Simran Chahal, Dentsoc President

Peninsula Dental School, Universty of Plymouth

 

 

Be a part of World Oral Health Day

​Are you doing any oral health promotion activities with your dental school? In the run up to World Oral Health Day on 20 March, we are encouraging dental students to use our resources and to get in touch with us, to help spread the word about promoting good oral health - find out more.