EXPERTS from the 543 dental centre in Hull rolled into Leven Primary School to help children improve their oral hygiene as part of a Brush Bus scheme.
City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP CIC), in partnership with Hull’s 543 Dental Centre and Henry Schein Dental, has been running the innovative Brush Bus project to promote dental health in local schools for the past six years.
The programme was recognised on the national stage by winning the Patron’s Prize from the National Oral Health Promotion Group (NOHPG) - a forum for all professionals interested in the promotion of UK oral health. And last November 543 was shortlisted for the Best Community Project in the Private Dentistry Awards for their commitment to the Brush Bus Programme.
The Brush Bus programme for Hull and the East Riding was also recognised by the national body as a scheme which should be rolled out across the country.
Having identified that there had been no improvement in the oral health of children in the Hull and East Riding, CHCP CIC founded the Brush Bus tooth brushing programme in 2006. 543’s involvement with Henry Schein in Hull’s Brush Bus, to make it a public/private partnership with CHCP CIC began in July 2010. 543 and Henry Schein are currently supporting 6,441 children at 20 schools in Hull & East Riding. At these schools Henry Schein is supplying the toothbrushes and toothpaste at cost price to 543 and 543 dental staff are examining the children’s teeth every six-months over a two-year period and results are being collated.
CHCP CIC is supporting 3,440 children in a further 23 primary schools and also1,800 children in 29 local nurseries and pre-schools. In total currently there are 12,801 children benefitting from the programme in Hull. East Hull Dental Centre are supporting 680 children at three local primary schools and Chris Ayer Dental Centre is supporting 440 children at two primary schools.
Ingrid Perry, Dental Health Educator for City Health Care Partnership CIC, commented: “We have worked hard over the past six years to really make a difference - education really is the key to breaking the cycle. The water in Hull is particularly low in fluoride and we have some of the highest rates of child tooth decay in the country. The Brush Bus is a vital way of reducing tooth decay and educating children so that they continue to have good dental health as they get older. This is an excellent example of multi-agency working, helping to improve the dental health of children in Hull and the East Riding.”
543 Dental Centre have also built an oral health education website aimed at children to support the Brush Bus programme. It contains age related activities to make learning about looking after teeth fun. It’s Teachers and Parents sections provide detailed information to support the National Curriculum and address many concerns parents may have relating to oral health. More details can be found at www.543junior.co.uk.
At these schools the children are being examined over a two-year period
Since April 2011, 543 Dental Centre has carried out six-monthly dental assessments on every participating child in the schools it is responsible for as part of this study. The study shows that the introduction of a daily supervised tooth brushing programme into primary schools in areas of deprivation will significantly reduce the incidence of dental caries and provides the opportunity for early minor dental treatment.