September is Colgate Oral Health Month, with the overall theme for 2007 being ‘Fighting together for better oral health’.
Now in its sixth year, the event has become a leading UK campaign for establishing and promoting improved oral health habits. Colgate, in partnership with the British Dental Association, works with dental professionals to deliver specific key oral health messages to patients. The focus for this year’s campaign is to raise awareness of periodontal health in general dental practice by reminding patients that ‘healthy teeth require healthy gums’.
Colgate recently surveyed 480 dental professionals about their patients’ gingival and periodontal health(1). Over 34% reported that they had seen an increase in levels of gingivitis and periodontitis, while 49% said their patients were not at all aware, or not very aware, of the overall state of their gum health.
Colgate Oral Health Month provides the entire dental team with the opportunity to get involved in a nationwide campaign that includes television advertising and other media such as press, interactive TV and text competitions. A roadshow will travel around major UK cities throughout September. Hygienists will be at the mobile toothbrushing units to give tips and demonstrate appropriate brushing techniques to improve gum health. Over 80% of UK dental practices have registered to take part in Colgate Oral Health Month, with each receiving a practice pack that contains educational materials and patients samples.
In addition, each registered practice will receive the 2007 Colgate Oral Health Month CPD programme. Over the last two years these programmes have worked with dental professionals to develop strategies on improved communication of general preventive advice. For the 2007 programme, Colgate is looking to continue to build on those skills with specific emphasis on effective prevention of periodontal disease.
This programme includes a DVD in which Colgate shares some cases filmed during a workshop held at the 2007 British Dental Conference and Exhibition in Harrogate. The audience heard from Professor Robin Davies, who presented an evidence-based review of periodontal disease prevention advice. The Prevention in Practice Tool Kit currently being developed by the British Association of Community Dentistry (BASCD) and commissioned by the Department of Health is based on scientific evidence for prevention that can be used every day in general practice. In this presentation, Professor Davies focused on the periodontal disease element of the tool kit.
Five different scenarios were explored in a workshop with actors taking the role of patients. The session highlighted the importance of using standardised information and tailoring that preventive advice to individual patients so they are motivated enough to follow through with professional instructions. Workshop participants concluded the importance of understanding both the limitations and opportunities that individual lifestyles can present is crucial in the prevention and long-term management of periodontal disease.
To receive a copy of this year’s Colgate Oral Health Month CPD programme, call 0845 257 3468 by 14
1. Data on file, Colgate Palmolive (UK) Ltd. 2007.