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Start the new year on the right foot – BSDHT

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  Posted by: The Probe      22nd December 2019

So often in dentistry we think that providing care for our patients is enough. However, one of the best parts of working in a supportive, caring profession is being able to help your local area beyond the call of the profession.

As we head into 2020, it is a good idea to see if there are any causes that you want to support as an individual or as a practice team, especially as doing so can bring many benefits…

Improve education

You may have recently heard that the UK was ranked the lowest out of a selection of countries surveyed for providing oral health promotion in schools.[i] Although the quest to present better information to children as part of their curriculum is gathering momentum, at the moment there is still a fantastic opportunity for dental professionals to get involved with schools in their local communities and share their expertise.

Nurseries are a really good place to start as you can encourage good habits from a young age. Can you think of any fun ways to help teach young children the information they need? Perhaps you can bring in brushing models or hold a quiz? It’s also a good idea to invite parents to these sessions too – many parents may be unaware about the fundamentals of children’s oral health, so this is a good opportunity to improve habits in the whole household.

It should be easy to find a directory of the nurseries and pre-schools in your area on the internet.

Go green!

Environmental awareness is a huge topic at the moment. With such a large focus on global warming, the plastic problem and other growing challenges, it’s a good idea to see what you can do to help out.

It is easier said than done to take a greener route in your practice, so as long as you have gone digital, made a few responsible changes and feel you have done all you can, then you can  look outside of your workplace to find ways to help solve these problems more directly. Litter picking, sponsoring charities to clean the sea, giving money to conservation – all of these measures are a wonderful way to have a good impact on the world around you and your local community. You can also get patients involved too by holding fundraisers and events at your practice – every little helps!

Visibility and awareness

A number of conditions have awareness days throughout the year, so why not use these as an opportunity to help those affected? Whether it’s putting together a team to go for a run to raise money for breast cancer, spreading awareness of HIV through leaflets and posters or even bringing mental health issues to light, the simple act of visibly supporting organisations that help sufferers of these conditions is a wonderful way to help people feel less alone. Raising money for these organisations is easy too – why not hold a bake sale or a raffle? How about a sponsored bike ride or taking part in a marathon? Regardless of your own physical fitness or talents there are always ways to raise funds for a good cause.

It’s also worth considering that a lot of systemic diseases have links to oral health. Make it a goal to educate patients about this in the New Year – you may see that more people are willing to follow oral health advice if they know that excess plaque and periodontal disease may lead to increased chances of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease or stroke. Who knows how many lives you can improve in this way?

Any step forward is good

Whatever you decide to do, every bit of help is something to be celebrated. But before you start speak to your team and see what your practice is capable of – there’s no need to impact your services by taking on too much.

It only takes a little bit of effort, and by helping the community and those within it, you can be sure that you are starting 2020 on the right foot.

Wishing you a very happy New year!

 

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit www.bsdht.org.uk call 01788 575050 or email enquiries@bsdht.org.uk

 

[i] Dentistry.co.uk. UK schools rank low in providing oral health education. Link: https://www.dentistry.co.uk/2019/04/26/uk-schools-rank-low-providing-oral-health-education/ [Last accessed September 19].


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