British Association of Dental Nurses shows full support for Safe Smiles campaign

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, is delighted to be part of the Oral Health Foundation’s Safe Smiles campaign, launched today at the British Orthodontic Conference in Manchester, which will give advice and support on how to get a great smile in a safe way; and which will stress the importance of having dental treatment in dental practices, carried out by registered professionals.

The Safe Smiles campaign is in response to the growth of direct-to-consumer alternatives and will also address dental tourism, inappropriately fitting mouthguards, harmful aesthetics such as lip tattoos, oral piercings and tooth jewellery, and the dangers these present; and will urge the public to only have treatment carried out by GDC-registered dental professionals in dental practices in the UK.

The Safe Smiles campaign has been endorsed by the leading dental professional associations – the British Dental Industry Association (BDIA), the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD), the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) and the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT), as well as by BADN.

BADN President Jacqui Elsden said: “As the professional association for dental nurses in the UK, BADN are delighted to support the Safe Smiles campaign. We shall be working closely with the OHF to encourage dental nurses to become involved with the campaign. Information on how to do this will be on our website,, in the next few days.”

A special toolkit has been created to help dental professionals support the campaign and share the importance of safe dentistry.

The toolkit is available on the campaign website at

Safe Smiles: new campaign set to champion the benefits of safe dentistry

The British Orthodontic Society and The Oral Health Foundation are launching a new campaign to help patients make safer choices when it comes to their dental treatment

The public awareness campaign, named Safe Smiles, will highlight the benefits of safe dentistry and treatment when carried out in dental practices by trained and registered professionals.

Safe Smiles is a dental sector response to concerns about the growth of direct-to-consumer alternatives, with the campaign’s two organisers worried about patients performing treatments at home – potentially putting themselves in danger.

The campaign was announced at this year’s British Orthodontic Society’s annual conference (16 September) in Manchester, in a joint press conference between the Oral Health Foundation and the British Orthodontic Society.

Recent research by the Oral Health Foundation reveals one-in-four (25%) UK households have opted for some form of DIY dentistry during lockdown.

The nationwide study also shows over half (55%) of adults feel they have neglected their teeth during lockdown. Around one-in-seven (15%) admit to not brushing their teeth as much as before the pandemic.  One-in-five (20%) are eating unhealthier foods, and more than one-in-ten (11%) have been drinking more alcohol. 1

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation is worried the potential decline in oral health status may lead to poor consumer choices, with many favouring shortcuts and attracted by direct-to-consumer alternatives.

Dr Carter says: “We are really concerned by evidence suggesting the UK’s oral health habits have declined during the pandemic. Symptoms associated with dental disease – mainly pain and changes in visual appearance – are leading patients to seek quick and cheap home cosmetic treatments advertised online. This is a great cause for concern and one of the key driving forces behind Safe Smiles.

“Dental treatment of any kind must involve face-to-face contact with a trained clinical professional inside the dental practice. This is to ensure patient safety and the most effective treatment.  It is important that the profession continues to champion safe dentistry and advise patients against direct-to-consumer treatments and alternatives shared on social media.

“When carried out correctly, cosmetic dental treatment can give patients the white, straight and confident smile they have always dreamed about. Safe Smiles will make sure patients are given the very best advice about the safest and most effective way to have dental treatment.”

Further findings from The British Orthodontic Society suggest that adults have become more conscious of their smile during lockdown. Over half of orthodontists (60%) say they have seen a larger than expected demand for treatment during the pandemic. It is suspected those affected could be looking for solutions to treat dental problems and improve the appearance of their smile.  

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Anshu Sood, Director of Clinical Practice at the British Orthodontic Society, says: “We’re delighted to be extending our long-standing campaign with the Oral Health Foundation. It’s heartening to see overwhelming endorsement from the dental sector. This couldn’t be more timely. Our recent stats revealed the pandemic has seen a rise in the number of people seeking orthodontic treatment. With this demand comes a growth in online companies offering treatments.

“Embarking on treatment without seeing a suitably trained clinician could result in serious conditions being missed or dangerous treatment carried out. We want to ensure patients have the very best advice about the safest and most effective way to have treatment. We know that, when carried out correctly, orthodontic treatment can have a positive and life-changing impact.”  

Data shows that more than four-in-five (84%) UK adults want to change something about their smile. Over the next year, more than one-in-three (35%) are thinking about having their teeth whitened while around one-in-six (16%) are considering orthodontic treatment. 1

Safe Smiles will be asking all patients considering treatments to visit dental practices in the UK and have treatment carried out by clinicians registered with the GDC.

The campaign will tackle the dangers associated with dental tourism, inappropriately fitting mouthguards bought online, as well as harmful aesthetic changes to the mouth like lip tattoos, oral piercings, tooth jewellery, modifications and grillz.

The new campaign is being supported by Align Technology and has gathered support from across the dental world. The campaign has already received endorsement from the British Dental Industry Association, British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, British Dental Bleaching Society, British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, British Association of Dental Nurses, and British Association of Dental Therapists.

Edmund Proffitt, BDIA Chief Executive, says: “The British Dental Industry Association is delighted to be supporting Safe Smiles. With ever growing interest in cosmetic dental work, the dental industry feels that it is very important that patients can achieve a healthy smile in a safe environment. Be it orthodontic work, tooth whitening or any other aesthetic dental treatment, working with trained dental professionals within a dental practice is a great way to get safe and effective treatment.

“With some unsafe and unregulated online and ‘do-it-yourself’ treatments available, and unfortunately, a number of unregulated practitioners offering treatments, we thoroughly recommend that patients engage directly with dental professionals to get the best, safest healthy smile.”

Jacqui Elsden, BADN President: “We’re thrilled to be supporting safe smiles. With the rise in popularity of unsafe do it yourself treatments and unregulated providers, we hope that this campaign will help patients become more aware of these dangers and think twice before they purchase them. We recommend that patients engage in this initiative and take steps to safely pursue treatment options.”

Zaki Kanaan, Chairman of the British Dental Bleaching Society: “There is no doubt that one of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that is carried out routinely in dental practices is tooth whitening. Done properly, by a dental care professional, tooth whitening is one of the least invasive ways to improve one’s smile. This popularity has led to the growth of direct-to-consumer options that often get around the legality by using non-peroxide based products that not only have little to no efficacy in whitening one’s teeth but many OTC products are in fact harmful to teeth and their surrounding structures. Members of the public seeking OTC products are leaving themselves open to harm with virtually no recourse when things go wrong.  Over many years at The British Dental Bleaching Society we have been striving to highlight to the public this exact issue and we therefore fully support The Safe Smiles Campaign.”

A special toolkit has been created to help dental professionals support the campaign and share the importance of safe dentistry.

The toolkit is available on the campaign website at


  1. ORAL HEALTH FOUNDATION (2020) ‘National Dental Survey’ Atomik Research. UK. Sample 2,004.

BADN set to host Afternoon Tea to raise funds for Breast Cancer

A year ago, BADN held its Virtual Anniversary Afternoon Tea to celebrate the Association’s 80th Anniversary.  This was such a success, that BADN have held monthly Coffee Catch Ups ever since. However, this month, the Association are doing something slightly different.

9-15 August is Afternoon Tea Week and Breast Cancer Now are using this to raise funds by encouraging everyone to hold an afternoon tea. BADN will be charging £5 per person to attend – all the money raised will go to Breast Cancer Now. There will be  a quiz, a name the teddy bear (and other) competitions, and a baking competition – with prizes from Parliament Hill, TRM, CFC, RA Sedation and TePe.

Tea guests can chat with BADN President Jacqui Elsden and other members of the Exec, as well as with speaker Carole Houston. Carole has been associated with the BADN for a number of years, both through her work as Communications Lead with the NEBDN and later in a similar role for Horizon, Blackpool Council’s drug and alcohol support service when – along with BADN Chief Executive Pam Swain and the late Janet Goodwin – she helped to organise two highly effective dental outreach days for the homeless and for people with addiction issues.

In May 2019 Carole was diagnosed with Stage 3 Triple Negative breast cancer, a rare type of breast cancer that affects around 10-15% of patients. Carole now aims to raise awareness of breast cancer issues, especially Triple Negative breast cancer, so she is delighted to join us for the Afternoon Tea to speak openly about her treatment, its effect on her dental and mental health, and to answer all your questions.

Join BADN on Sunday 15 August 2021 at 3pm to chat, have some fun, meet other dental nurses and raise funds for Breast Cancer Now. To register, go to

BADN Supports Calls For Mandatory Mask Wearing

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, supports the call by the British Dental Association (BDA) and other healthcare associations for mandatory facemasks, social distancing and regular handwashing by the public to remain in place in all healthcare settings, as well as the use of appropriate respiratory protection for staff in health and care settings and improvements in ventilation wherever possible.

“It is vital that a clear message from Government makes patients understand that safety precautions such as mask wearing, social distancing etc are still necessary – both for their own protection and for that of healthcare professionals” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden. “BADN also supports the Chief Dental Officers in encouraging all dental professionals to become vaccinated.”

Long-standing BADN member Dr Debbie Reed named first recipient of FGDP(UK)’s Janet Goodwin Award

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, is delighted that long-standing member Dr Debbie Reed is the first recipient of the FGDP(UK)’s Janet Goodwin Award, awarded to the Dental Care Professional (DCP) who has advanced the role of and empowered DCPs in order to educate and improve oral healthcare. 

The Award, which honours the late dental nurse Janet Goodwin, is focused on the all-round performance and skills required to become a passionate and committed advocate for DCPs, reflecting the Janet’s legacy. The Award highlights the qualities of leading by example, a commitment to lifelong learning that goes beyond statutory requirement, and a wider commitment to the dental profession.

Dr Debbie Reed is Head of the Department for Digital and Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent where she established, and remains the course director of, the Master’s degree in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare. Debbie has also been leading the development of degree and higher apprenticeships for the University, building links with employers across the UK and various industries. Academically, she has researched, written and contributed on topics such as professionalisation of occupations, credentialing and qualifications, and pedagogised careers.

Debbie has been BADN member for more than 20 years, and is a former BADN Executive Committee Chair.  In 2020 she was awarded the BADN Outstanding Contribution to Professional Practice Award.

“I am reassured that my work as an educator and my research has practical application and has provided transformational opportunities to those employed across the whole of the dental sector,” said Dr Reed. “I had the honour to know Janet Goodwin as a colleague; she also contributed to my research, which makes receiving a prize in her name so meaningful and such a poignant privilege.”

Janet Goodwin

“We are delighted that Debbie is the first recipient of this Award, which is in memory of Janet Goodwin, who was a BADN Fellow and member for more than 25 years until her untimely death from breast cancer last year,” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden. “Janet was an inspiration to dental nurses throughout the UK, and abroad and worked tirelessly to educate and empower DCPs.  It is entirely fitting that Debbie, who has done so much also to support, advance and encourage DCPs, has received this Award.”

BADN – together with the  Oral Health Foundation, of which Janet was a Past President – have set up a Memorial Fund in Janet’s name, which will support the future of dental nursing by providing students and professionals with bursaries for the development of their careers.  Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Memorial Fund may do so online at

BADN welcomes the appointment of Angie Heilmann to the GDC

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, welcomes the appointment of Angie Heilmann to the General Dental Council (GDC).

Angie Heilmann (formerly McBain) qualified as a Dental Nurse in 1989, went on to achieve the NEBDN qualification in Dental Sedation Nursing (with Distinction), for which she was awarded the Roche Prize in 2000, and worked in clinical practice until 2007 before focusing solely on dental nurse education.   

Angie has held a number of educational and tutoring positions, most recently as the Dental Workforce Development Regional Advisor for Heath Education England (East) until 2020, and is currently the Director of Dental Nurse Education at Cambridge Dental Nurse Academy, the dental nurse arm of Antwerp Dental Academy. Previously, she was part of the team that introduced Foundation Degrees in Dental Nursing at the University of Bedfordshire. 

Angie is not only a Past President of BADN, but also a former Chair, Regional Coordinator and Chair of the National Teaching Group, and was awarded the BADN Outstanding Contribution to Dental Nursing Award in 2011.

Angie was also Chair of the Local Dental Education Committee at Luton and Dunstable Hospital; and is the only dental nurse to have sat on the Council of the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry (SAAD). She holds a Master’s degree in Medical Education from the University of Bedfordshire and was awarded an MBE for Services to Dental Nursing in 2012.   

“We are extremely pleased “said BADN President Jacqui Elsden “that former BADN President Angie Heilmann has been appointed a registrant council member of the GDC.  I have no doubt that Angie will bring to this role a wealth of expertise to ensure a fair and proportionate experience for dental professionals, leading to improved confidence in our profession.

“I should like, on behalf of BADN and the UK’s dental nursing profession,  to congratulate Angie on this appointment – we look forward to working with her and the rest of the GDC going forward.”

BADN partners with tida

BADN, the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, are proud to announce our partnership with tida – a training provider using the inclusive diversity approach through educational videos and workshops.

The inclusive diversity approach will help dental teams discover new ways to develop more conscious and caring attitudes that will benefit the workplace and our communities.

Through a series of online courses, they offer everyone the chance to self-develop and progress towards fairer thought patterns and actions, making positive adjustments to help create a more equal, diverse and inclusive society free from discrimination and racism.

tida offer a range of online courses (normal price £19.99 per person per course) on topics such as:

  • Human Rights · Conscious and Unconscious Bias in the Dental Practice
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Introduction to Racism – coming soon
  • Importance of Identity – coming soon
  • Empowerment and Resilience. – coming soon

You can help pave the way for change

By working to make positive changes within ourselves, we help pave the way for change in our workplaces and communities.

tida is more than just a training provider; they are a community of like-minded people on a mission to enlighten and empower people. They believe that by giving people the facts, they can take positive action for themselves and our society, helping to break down unfair treatment barriers and loss of opportunities that so many people unfairly face.

Check out the course trailers:

Human Rights

Conscious and Unconscious Bias

Workplace: Equality, diversity and inclusion


More information available in members area of the BADN website – registered dental nurses who are not yet members of their professional association can join for £35 at BADN membership gives you access not only to the tida courses, but also to the special member rate indemnity cover, the Legal Helpline, digital “British Dental Nurses’ Journal” with free CPD, the Health & Wellness Hub with counselling/support helpline and to BADN Rewards, which offers a wide range of special offers and discounts on shopping, travel, insurance, lifestyle and much more.

BADN supports BDA in call to push junk food out of sport

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, supports the recent call by the British Dental Association (BDA) for “sustained effort …… to remove the deep-rooted and pernicious influence of junk food brands across sport”.

BADN President Jacqui Elsden said “BADN welcome, and support, the call to push junk food brands out of sport. As a mother and grandmother, as well as a dental nurse, I am deeply concerned about the uncontrolled advertising of junk food that currently exists in sport. Sadly, sporting heroes actively ignore the detrimental effects that junk food plays on our children’s oral health. By glamorising and encouraging the consumption of junk food through advertising at sporting events, we are shamefully subjecting our younger generations to a lifetime of poor oral health.

“If the government is keen to take junk food off the menu in schools, then it should also ban junk food advertising in sport. BADN, the professional association for dental nurses in the UK, wholeheartedly supports the British Dental Association in their campaign.”

BADN to present Dental Nurse of the Year Award at the 2021 Dental Awards

The Dental Nurse of the Year Award at the 2021 Dental Awards, the original and most respected awards programme in UK dentistry, has gained added prestige as it will now be presented by the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN).

“We are delighted to be involved even more closely with this year’s Dental Awards,” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden, “and to present the Dental Nurse of the Year Award. Part of BADN’s mission statement is to advance the role of dental nursing through lifelong learning to the level of competently applied knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours which underpin the evolving demands of current and future oral healthcare in the UK. We shall also be presenting the Dental Nurse of the Year with one year’s free BADN membership.”

“Over the course of more than two decades, The Dental Awards has established itself as the most highly regarded awards honour in the profession,” said James Cooke, managing editor of the dental portfolio at Purple Media Solutions, including The Probe and the British Dental Nurses’ Journal. “It is with great excitement that we announce a new partnership with BADN that will see the Dental Nurse of the Year Award held in even higher esteem.

“Purple Media Solutions, which organises and hosts the Dental Awards, has a long-standing working relationship with BADN as publishing partner of the Association’s quarterly periodical, the British Dental Nurses’ Journal. We are thrilled to expand upon that partnership at the 2021 Dental Awards.”

Established in 1940, BADN is the professional organisation specifically for all dental nurses – whether student or registered – working in General Practice, Hospital, Community/Salaried Services, the Armed Forces, Industry, Management or Education. It offers members a wide range of benefits including indemnity cover at special member prices, the Journal with verifiable CPD, Legal Helpline, Health & Wellness Hub, BADN Rewards Scheme and the National Dental Nursing Conference, as well as information and advice. For more information, visit

2021 marks the 22nd edition of the Dental Awards. Over the years, this prestigious event has recognised the outstanding individuals and teams whose commitment and drive continues to raise standards throughout the UK dentistry profession.

The Dental Awards is supported by the UK’s leading dental magazine publisher, Purple Media Solutions, and is unquestionably the premier awards programme for UK dentistry.

Winning or being a finalist is a tremendous accolade and provides a massive publicity boost to the profile of your practice and your team. After all, who wouldn’t want to be treated by the Dental Nurse or the Dental Team of the Year?

For more information, call 01732 371570 or contact

A huge thank you to The Dental Awards 2021 sponsors: Colosseum Dental, Dental Elite, the Oral Health Foundation, and Water Pik.

GDC’s ARF instalment option welcomed by BADN

The British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), the UK’s professional association for dental nurses, has welcomed the GDC decision to accept payment for the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) in instalments, after many years of lobbying by BADN.

Dental nurses will now be able to pay their ARF of £114 pa in four Direct Debit payments of £28.50 per quarter. To take advantage of the option in 2021, dental nurses need to log in to eGDC from early May and select the quarterly Direct Debit option no later than 31 May 2021. Further details will follow once the system has been set up.

“BADN have been lobbying the GDC for some years to allow payment by instalments, but the answer was always that this would be too costly, and additionally that it was not possible under the current legal framework” said BADN President Jacqui Elsden.

“Dental nurses are the lowest paid members of the dental team, and many work part time. Our recent salary survey1 shows that the majority earn between £10k and £20k a year, and that 54% have to pay their own ARF, so a single large payment of £114 every July was a financial burden for many dental nurses, particularly recently.

“£114 per year is still too high a fee for dental nurses, particularly given the circumstances of the last year when many dental nurses were not paid their full salaries (or even, in some cases, paid at all), but the GDC refused a request by BADN in 2020 to lower the ARF, even temporarily. We are however pleased that they have at least finally agreed to one of our proposals by allowing dental nurses to pay the ARF in instalments.

“We hope that now the GDC have acknowledged the financial burden the ARF places on dental nurses, they will give further consideration to BADN’s two other proposals: that the ARF be lowered to a more realistic figure for dental nurses, and that a lower ARF be implemented for all dental professionals, not just dental nurses, who work part time.”