This article has been brought to you by Slough Borough Council's Service Lead for Early Years and Prevention, Michael Jarrett, for the attention of all Early Years providers.
Over the past year Slough Healthy Smiles have been working in partnership with Slough Borough Council to improve children’s oral health in Slough. 41.5% of 5 year olds in Slough suffer with decay compared to a national average of 23%. Around 26% of the three year olds in Slough have tooth decay. Many of these children with decay will require a general anaesthetic to remove the decayed teeth.
Around 170 operations are performed under general anaesthetic to remove teeth every day. Any general anaesthetic represents a risk to that child along with any infection from the decayed teeth. Alongside this, oral health can affect school readiness and poor oral health often leads to days missed from school. The risk factors for poor oral health are the same risk factors for many other health conditions such as diabetes, cancer and obesity and so oral health often reflects future health issues.
The majority of oral health issues are preventable and Slough Healthy Smiles would love to work with you and your setting to reduce the suffering that these children experience and to work towards healthy children who are ready to learn.
We are able to offer free of charge:
- Information sessions for the parents of your children including a display board with a selection of free samples of toothpastes, toothbrushes, tooth brushing charts, tooth brushing timers and leaflets alongside giant teeth and toothbrushes for the children to play and learn from.
- Teaching sessions for the children, we are able to provide teaching sessions for the children enabling the children to learn appropriate brushing on the giant teeth and to identify food that impacts on oral health and the importance of good oral hygiene and seeing a dentist early along with familiarising the children with the process of being seen at the dentist.
- Training for your staff, the training session includes a power point presentation along with hands on activities and discussions around oral health and the content includes local statistics, an overview of different oral health conditions and the impact this has on the children and their general health, what can be done to prevent poor oral health in terms of diet and oral hygiene alongside information on accessing both general dental care and more specialist oral care in line with the Dental Check By One campaign and the new Starting Well Project. We are also able to offer a more detailed training session for early years settings wishing to set up supervised tooth brushing in the setting.
- Accreditation, we are able to provide information on the Slough Healthy Smiles Accreditation Scheme to enable your setting to have recognition for all that you do to promote oral health for the children. We can help guide you through the process and provide you with a certificate alongside many other early years settings in Slough to show the good work you are doing.
- Loans of resources, we are able to loan your setting giant teeth, giant toothbrushes, dental dressing up outfits, books on going to the dentist and provide worksheets and tooth brushing charts for you to use with your children.
If you would like Slough Healthy Smiles to provide any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Gonzalez (Oral Health Improvement Practitioner, Oxfordshire Community Dental Services) and we would be delighted to come and work with your setting to improve the oral health of the children.
Please find the press release from February 2019 attached.