Oral health is vital to general health. Education is the key to achieving long-term good Oral Health. Oral Health Educators can help inform their local area by means of training the staff in Children’s Centres, Schools and Residential Centres. Below are some resources for training staff and others for the key stage 1 and Key stage 2.It may also be appropriate to take some lessons.
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Oral Health Promotion Department
The Salaried Dental Service is committed to improving the oral health of all who live in Devon. An important way to achieve this is to carry out of a range of health promotion programmes and strategies which target the “determinants” of oral health. “Determinants” of oral health are the interactions of a wide range of influences such as nutrition, lifestyle, social connectedness, personal health and hygiene practices, socio-economic status, education, cultural beliefs, attitudes and level of health literacy. “Determinants” also include the level of access to oral health services and the interventions available.
The Salaried Dental Service health promotion programmes and strategies are made to support people in behaviours that promote health and reduce factors that may be harmful to their oral health. We try to find out what the greatest need is in an area so we can address it and limit oral health inequalities.
An important component of our programmes involves working jointly with partnering organisations and community groups to achieve oral health results that will last.
The Oral Health Promotion Department is situated in Exeter’s Dental Access Centre. Its aim when set up was to increase awareness of oral health in schools, nurseries, residential care homes, medical and dental practitioners and health visitors. It also seeks to co-ordinate Oral Health Education throughout Devon.
A large proportion of the work undertaken concentrates on the prevention of tooth decay in young children. Tooth decay (dental caries) is one of the most common diseases. Its peak activity occurs during childhood and continues to be the main cause of tooth loss in children.
Other priority groups include adults with special care needs, including people with dementia, stroke survivors, people with severe learning disabilities / brain injuries, and degenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease. Ongoing work in these areas includes: developing written oral care plans; advancing the knowledge and skills of carers and support workers; audit of healthcare workers’ knowledge in a local stroke unit.