The OHC impresses once again

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is thrilled to announce that this year’s Oral Health Conference (OHC) was everything the organisation hoped for and more!

The event in Glasgow was filled with learning, laughter and plenty of chances for delegates to acquire new skills. Plus, the show gave everyone a much-needed chance to reconnect with colleagues, make new friends and, most importantly, see once again why the profession is such an exciting and important part of modern dentistry.

If you would like to find out more about the sessions you didn’t attend or if you simply want to recap some of the best moments from the weekend, please contact the BSDHT for further information.

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit, call 01788 575050 or email

Alif Moosajee lecturing at the BSDHT Conference

The flagship event of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), this year’s show will take place at the SEC in Glasgow on November 26-27.

“I am so excited to be lecturing at the BSDHT. It is a Congress that I thoroughly enjoy to be part of as it is so well organised and I think it adds such a great amount of value to both hygienists and therapists. I am normally invited to lecture on clinical topics but this is an excellent extension of utilising my experience as the Principal of a practice bringing in a new technology and watching how not only the clinician but also the wider team have been so involved in utilising it to improve the patient’s journey and overall experience. 

“The iTero scanner is a fantastic tool for scanning but more importantly for patient communication. It allows the patient to really get on board with the treatment that we recommend but also allows the team to get on board and really understand how we are able to look after our patients using the most cutting edge dental techniques available to us now. Advances in the iTero technology have brought about the NIRI functionality which improves our ability to visualise dental disease like decay and directly communicate that to our patient in a way that allows them to really understand the problem that they have so that they are asking us for the solution rather than us providing one that they can’t relate to nor want. 

“Digital scanning has proved itself to be so valuable in modern dental practice used by dentists, therapists, hygienists and nurses for the betterment of their patients’ treatments and experiences. I look forward to BSDHT delegates joining me to find out more about what the digital revolution is bringing to practice and to the team approach to dentistry, and how their patients can benefit from this fantastic tool.  Five iTero scanners should be available for delegates to obtain their first hands-on experience – and can’t wait for everyone to see how intuitive and simple it is to learn how to scan.”

For more information, please visit:

There’s still time to register for this year’s OHC!

With November fast approaching, now is the time to book your place at this year’s Oral Health Conference (OHC)!

The flagship event of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), the OHC is taking place at the SEC in Glasgow on 26 – 27 November and is a must-visit for dental hygienists, dental therapists and students of the profession.

Earn tailored CPD. Catch up with friends and make new connections. Discover some of the latest innovations from leading brands in the field – the OHC is guaranteed to be an exceptional event full of what really matters – networking, learning and getting up to date with the wider industry after so many months apart.

Special rates are available for BSDHT members, students and recently qualified dental professionals – so, why wait?

You can book your ticket online HERE:

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit

call 01788 575050 or email

Attention all dental hygienists and therapists – Glasgow is calling this November!

The BSDHT are delighted to be hosting this year’s oral health conference on the 26-27th November at the SEC in Glasgow

Have you been missing out on face-to-face interaction with your peers? How about listening to informative lectures and networking with industry professionals? So you’ll be pleased to hear that this year, the BSDHT will be welcoming back dental hygienists, dental therapists, students, dental nurses and dentists to enjoy their flagship member conference in Glasgow.

Held between 26-27th November in Glasgow, this event promises to be full of exciting opportunities and informative lectures. Across the two days there will be lectures on early intervention, sustainability, periodontics, preserving pulp vitality and much more. In addition to the incredible line-up of speakers, there will also be award presentations, including poster competition winners and a Student of the Year award. There’s also the added bonus of hands-on workshops that give delegates the chance to acquire new practical skills and witness new products and pioneering technologies in real life, rather than on a screen.

Anna Middleton, BSDHT London Regional Group Treasurer and founder of London Hygienist says: ‘I’m so excited for OHC in Glasgow this year. What a wonderful opportunity to be reunited with all my hygiene and therapy colleagues, updating CPD while listening to some great lectures alongside a little exploration of a new City in Glasgow. I can’t wait to see everyone!’

Diane Rochford, President of the BSDHT adds: ‘The BSDHT team and I are beyond excited for the conference this year and call upon all dental hygienists and therapists (both members and non-members of BSDHT) to come and join us. It’s been such a tough year for our profession and we look forward to coming together with this shared experience, to celebrate the start of a new exciting era, learning together, some exceptional lectures and sharing ideas and learnings.’

Don’t miss out! Places are limited and getting booked up very quickly. For your chance to gain 12 hours of CPD, listen to the very best lectures and expand your network, take advantage of the early bird booking deal which expires at the end of October. This offer means you’ll receive a ticket for the two days for £254 as a member, or £326 as a non-member.

To attend the BSDHT OHC or for more information call 01788 575050, email or visit

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.

BSDHT issues statement on GDC’s introduction of ARF instalment plan

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) welcomes the decision taken by the General Dental Council, introducing an option to pay the Annual Retention Fee (ARF) in instalments.

The pandemic has been a difficult time financially for many dental professionals, so this new option to split the payment into four, more manageable, quarterly direct debits of £28.50 for dental hygienists and dental therapists is likely to make a considerable difference for a number of individuals.

The Society is glad that the regulator has listened to the concerns of the BSDHT and its members, and has made this more flexible option available. Hopefully this measure will make a difference for many dental hygienists and dental therapists and in the future.

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit, call 01788 575050 or email

BSDHT to present Dental Therapist and Dental Hygienist of the Year Awards at the 2021 Dental Awards

The awards for Dental Therapist and Dental Hygienist of the Year at the 2021 Dental Awards, the original and most respected awards programme in UK dentistry, have gained added prestige as they will now be presented by the British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT).  

The awards are open for entries to all Dental Therapists and Dental Hygienists, regardless of their status as a BSDHT member. For an entry brochure, visit 

Following this announcement, the entry deadline for these awards has been extended to Friday 5th March 2021. 

Diane RochfordBSDHT President, commented: “BSDHT is delighted to formally partner and support the Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapist of the Year awards. This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and honour the dedication, innovation and talents of dental hygienists and dental therapists in the UK.” 

“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. “It is with great excitement that we announce this new partnership with the BSDHT, which will see the awards for Dental Therapist of the Year and Dental Hygienist of the Year held in even higher esteem. 

“While we highly encourage Dental Therapists and Dental Hygienists to stand up and be counted for all that they’ve achieved over the course of an extremely challenging year, don’t forget that you can also ensure other members of your team – or even your entire practice – can be nominated for recognition in their own respective categories.” 

The BSDHT’s membership is open to all Dental Hygienist and Dental Therapists, as well as students. Representatives of the BSDHT maintain an ongoing dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all the main groups representing dental care professionals. BSDHT attends meetings of the dental All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MPs. 

Being a member of BSDHT gives you access to a range of benefits as well as support throughout your career. The BSDHT continually aims to improve the benefits provided to members – the most recent addition being ‘BSDHT Indemnity’ – a unique indemnity policy specially created for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists. 

For more information, please 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 Dentist or the Dental Team of the Year? 

For more information, call 01732 371570 or contact 

Click here to download a 2021 entry brochure! 

Register your entry for £25 per entrant per category by 5th March 2021. 

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

BSDHT supporting patient gum health with Flossuary

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is delighted to be supporting Flossuary – an innovative initiative running this February, designed to help patients improve their gum health.

The aim is to challenge patients to clean interdentally once a day for 28 consecutive days, enabling them to see the difference this can make to their gum health. There is also an online resource – – accessible to all that provides advice on easy-to-use, good value products recommended by professionals. It includes instructional videos, information on the benefits of effective interdental cleaning and a Flossuary starter pack free for any UK resident.

Diane Rochford, BSDHT President, comments: “The practice I work at will be participating, not only as a way to motivate patients during this current lockdown, but also as a team we will take up the challenge!”

Visit the website or follow BSDHT on social media for more information and ideas on how to engage with your patients this Flossuary!

Flossuary resources are available at

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit, call 01788 575050 or email

Leading oral health organisations team up with GSK to provide toothpaste to the vulnerable of Manchester

The Oral Health Foundation and the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy have teamed up with GSK to provide over 100,000 tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste to the vulnerable and those in need in Greater Manchester.

This mammoth community effort, facilitated by Manchester based charity Community 4X4, will see toothpaste distributed to places all over Greater Manchester. Those that will be receiving the toothpastes include homeless people, residents in care homes, people who use foodbanks and those who don’t have easy access to dental products or whom may have limited financial resources.

Talking about the impact that this donation will have, Emma Hall-Scullin, consultant dental public health, Public Health England North West, said: “Greater Manchester has some of the highest levels of tooth decay in the country and this is one of the many initiatives being undertaken to address this. Twice- daily toothbrushing is extremely important to maintain oral health and prevent tooth decay.”

Dr Ben Atkins, President of the Oral Health Foundation, hopes this donation will go far in boosting the oral health of those in Manchester who otherwise might be struggling during this difficult time: “It’s vital that oral health is maintained, not just for health of the mouth but also for mental health as well. We hope that this donation of Sensodyne toothpaste will allow those that receive them to get all the benefits that come with healthy teeth and gums and put a smile on their face.”

President of the BDSHT, Diane Rochford, added: “On behalf of the BSDHT I’d like to thank GSK for their generous donation. These toothpaste samples will make a huge difference to those in need and reinforce the fact that these items are a necessity, not just a luxury for those more fortunate.”

Of course, the donation would not have been possible if it weren’t for GSK, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “We are really pleased to help support the communities of Greater Manchester with this toothpaste donation, in a year where there have been significant limitations to dental service delivery.”

The Oral Health Foundation would also like to extend a special thanks to Singletons Transport who kindly offered their services for free to help deliver the toothpastes.

As commented on earlier, this year has indeed provided a number of challenges for the dental profession and the public alike. The Oral Health Foundation is committed to supporting the public with their oral health during this difficult time which is why we continue to run our Dental Helpline. The Helpline has helped hundreds of thousands of callers with their oral health problems and queries. It is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and can be reached on 01788 539780.

For more information about the Dental Helpline as well as the Oral Health Foundation’s wider activities head to

OHC 2020: a show to remember

This year, the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) hosted their highly anticipated annual Oral Health Conference (OHC) online. This decision was made to keep delegates safe and enabled attendees to learn in comfort, with sessions timed in the evenings and weekends so that individuals could work the show around their professional schedules.

The theme of this year was SEE AND BE SEEN – with all sessions focusing on building skills, helping individuals evolve in their roles and perfect engagement with patients and team members alike.

Day one

Diane Rochford, the newly elected President of the BSDHT, kicked off the conference by explaining the online format. Delegates could access resources from sponsors, as well as speak to one another in a live chat function. Furthermore, the set up allowed delegates to view the poster presentations and to type questions during educational sessions, meaning they could instantly engage with the material and share their thoughts and ideas.

This online interface was incredibly easy to navigate, and one huge bonus was that delegates could access what they wanted, when they wanted, allowing everyone to explore what was on offer on their own terms.

Josie Hastings

The programme started strong on Thursday evening with a session on unconscious bias, hosted by Josie Hastings. In this lecture, Josie explored the way that our mind uses bias as a sort of shortcut – leading us to make preconceived decisions and perceptions based on our own experiences. While helpful in some ways, Josie argued that this unconscious bias is also very harmful in professional settings, especially as we may use it to make assumptions about people of a certain sex, race, background, sexuality and more.

A fun and informative blend of online exercises and questions helped delegates to understand the way that their mind works and the unconscious bias that may be there, while Josie also encouraged delegates to type examples of unconscious bias into the chat function to broaden the conversation.

Following this, the evening finished with a more clinical lecture by Nicola West. Focused on dentine hypersensitivity and how to manage this in practice, this session delved into why dentine hypersensitivity is becoming more common and how certain actions and behaviours are exacerbating the problem. Supported by plenty of new research and interesting sources, this lecture also served to educate delegates on how best to help patients with dentine hypersensitivity.

Day two

The legal panel

Friday evening saw an interesting start with a panel session surrounding BSDHT Indemnity. Featuring representatives from FTA Law, Lloyd & Whyte and BGP (providers of the BSDHT Indemnity policy) this panel discussion was formed to help delegates with any legal concerns. Topics covered indemnity policies and questions about dental nurse support, as well as the legality of providing a potential Coronavirus vaccine in the future. The session also covered the ins and outs of the legal perspectives involved if professionals set up their own practices.

This session generated a lot of questions, and delegates added many queries to the discussion that were all answered by the experts.

Following a brief session hosted by Oral-B, delegates finished Friday evening with a session from Ian Dunn surrounding the shame patients feel when they have periodontitis and how profoundly this condition affects them.

A lighthearted but also very informative talk, Ian Dunn delved into the science behind periodontitis and biofilm, and the emotional impact that periodontitis has on individuals. The primary goal was to motivate patients to change their behaviour in order to prevent and help lessen the impact of periodontitis, and this meant that delegates were given tips on how to speak and engage with patients, with case studies to help support the evidence.

Day three

The third and final day of this year’s OHC saw Diane Rochford hand over to Anna Middleton of London Hygienist fame and Alif Moosajee for a session exploring the benefits of using digital intraoral scanners during hygiene appointments.

This session highlighted how these systems could be used to inform patients on their oral hygiene and improve consent. The speakers included information about the systems for those interested too.

Moving on to one of the most empowering talks of the conference, Megan Fairhall’s session encouraged attendees to think outside of the box and explore what their career and skills really meant to them. She delved into the various career options available for individuals both within and outside of dentistry, and explained how she was using her skills to form multiple streams of income – something that could be achieved easily by anyone with qualifications in dental hygiene and therapy.

Megan really encouraged people to look within themselves and pinpoint their interests, strengths and goals, as well as setting out the available paths in education, online marketing, sponsorship and beyond which people could take to diversify and enrich their working lives. This session was very well received with multiple people saying how inspired they were by the end.

Claire Bennett was named Student of the Year

Then it was time for the annual Awards. The Student of the Year Award went to Claire Bennett from Cardiff University. Commended for her dedication to the industry, Claire, who has completed her degree in Dental Therapy, has worked in dentistry for over 24 years and called receiving the award a “great honour and privilege”.

Due to the high number of exceptional entries for the poster competition this year, the BSDHT extended the accolades to include five winners instead of three. The Student Poster winner was Sejal Dave, while the Highly Commendable award went to Laura McClune. Bronze was awarded to Dr Malaaika Al-Koky, Silver went to Anne Ford, and the Gold prize went to Aylen Dervish – huge congratulations to them all!

A panel discussion on chairside dental nurse support then followed lunch, giving delegates the chance to learn more about this important issue, which is one of the BSDHT’s core aims. This session looked at how many people currently have dental nurse support. This was a surprisingly large amount but showed that there is more to be done until dental hygienists and dental therapists receive the support they need in practice.

A zippy session by Claire McCarthy about hand instrumentation followed, generating so much interest that delegates begged to have practical sessions on the topic incorporated into next year’s show.

Claire explained the ergonomics of using hand instruments and the general care routines these instruments need in order to remain effective. It definitely highlighted an area that many delegates were unsure about, and there were a lot of questions at the end asking for guidance, which Claire was happy to provide!

Following this, Fiona Ellwood put mental health into the spotlight with a session focusing on mental health and how this has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. A Mental Health First Aider, Fiona made it clear how important it is to have someone in practice that can be there for people when they are struggling, especially during highly stressful times. An astute and thoughtful insight into mental health as a whole, this session provided delegates with a chance for self reflection and made it very clear just how important it is to prioritise our mental health as well as our physical health.

Finally, Tim Newton closed the show with his session on behaviour change and oral health outcomes. Tying in a lot of the themes from other lectures, this session really hammered home the message of the importance of helping patients to improve their oral health behaviours.

A blend of scientific insight into behaviour formation and change as well as pertinent oral health evidence, this session was a brilliant way to round off the show, leaving delegates with a lot to think about and apply in their careers.

An exceptional event

The OHC this year overcame the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic to deliver an engaging and exciting event that left hundreds feeling inspired. The BSDHT proved that its focus on supporting and uplifting members continues, and put together a show that demonstrated, even in times of adversity, the community surrounding dental hygiene and therapy is strong and ready to make positive change.

For more information about the BSDHT, please visit, call 01788 575050 or email