Our hats are off to a public health team in the Midlands for the wonderful #Alittletriptothedentist campaign. Their aim is to highlight the importance of a dental check by one, among other valuable key messages.
Toolkits on important topics have been devised with a monthly theme like weaning, sugar, pregnancy and tooth brushing. Important key messages are being publicised via social media posts, videos, emails and information posters in different centres, all promoting taking children to the dentist.
The campaign was born some 18 months ago to raise awareness of the importance of seeing a dentist regularly. It’s an NHS England campaign supported by Public Health England, the Local Dental Network, local authorities and other stakeholders.
One of the first steps was to ask local paediatric dentists to provide training for dentists in the management and treatment of very young children.
Christine Nolan, the programme manager, said the campaign began in March and runs through to September. All the resources had been carefully planned and then cross-checked with oral health leads, local authorities and commissioners. She said it has been wonderful to see it all come together. The next phase, she said, would be to work with dental receptionists who make appointments and have the opportunity to promote a dental check by the age of one.
Anna Hunt, the lead Consultant in Dental Public Health, praised all involved. She said that health visitors had been “on message” from an early stage with all other stakeholders coming on board and working collaboratively.
She said it had been rewarding to have everyone in the NHS in the area supporting the campaign, whether doctors, dentists, pharmacies, all committed to getting young children to see a dentist as soon as their first teeth come through.