Mini Mouthcare Matters (Mini MCM) launched today to help integrate oral health into the care paediatric wards offer to patients.
The new programme will train nurses, health care assistants and doctors on the importance of children’s oral health.
As part of Mini MCM, paediatric staff will now ask patients, or their parents, when they last saw a dentist and if they have a toothbrush.
‘Our young patients are already struggling with complex and serious conditions,’ paediatric dental consultant, Urshla Devalia, said.
‘It’s vital that there is no risk of an infection in the mouth, which could cause complications in their treatment.
‘By integrating dental hygiene into overall care, health professionals can take every opportunity to highlight how important a healthy mouth and teeth are to general well-being.’
Improving oral care
Mini MCM is inspired by a programme dedicated to improving the oral care of older residents in hospital.
As part of Mini MCM, the initiative will be developing:
- An oral health policy and tooth brushing chart
- An oral health screening tool to identify patients who may be at a high risk of developing oral problems
- A training package encouraging all nursing, medical and health care professionals to ‘lift the lip’ and identify common oral health/dental conditions
- A range of tools for hospitals hoping to join Mini MCM, including posters, booklets and baseline audit tools.
‘We are communicating with anxious parents and carers, as well as their children,’ Ms Devalia concluded.
‘Both generations need to be educated to limit sweet snacks and drinks, keeping them to mealtimes only and to brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.’
You may also be interested in: