Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Festival of Communities Event (May 13th 2018)

Dental students at QMUL used the opportunity of the Festival of Communities at Mile End campus, a festival for residents of Tower Hamlets, to reach out to families to teach them about the oral health needs of their infants and children.

19 June 2018

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Festival of Communities Event (May 13th 2018)

According to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessement for Tower Hamlets (2015), 45.9% of 5 year olds in Tower Hamlets experience caries, almost double the percentage of the England average (27.9%).

Dental students at QMUL used the opportunity of the Festival of Communities at Mile End campus, a festival for residents of Tower Hamlets, to reach out to families to teach them about the oral health needs of their infants and children.

Thanks to the coordinated efforts of Debra Chow and Stephanie Yeung, almost 400 visitors engaged with our student volunteers on oral hygiene instruction and healthy eating advice, specifically being sugar smart. The students coordinated their educational efforts around the Shared Risk Factor Approach, thus contributing to the prevention of obesity, cancer and diabetes as well as dental decay.

Recent publications and resources published by Public Health England in healthy eating (Change4Life and Sugarsmart) were used to promote and encourage improved health behaviours. Child friendly activities including tooth brushing demos, stickers, free toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as an educational sugary drinks wheel of fortune were very popular! One student commented “I feel much more confident giving diet advice and oral hygiene instruction having been to this event. You get to see so many kids in one day. It is good practice for clinic, especially for 2nd years to get a boost before treating patients”.

We would like to thank Colgate UK and Ireland and GSK for their generous contributions, and the Public Engagement Team at QMUL for having us at their wonderful event!

This type of event presents a unique opportunity for students to interact with our local community in efforts to improve oral health. Dental caries is a preventable disease and oral health promotion events like these will help to make an impact on the community - we look forward to bringing back the stall again next year!

hashtags:

#GSK #Colgate #BrightsmilesBrightfuture #QMUL #festivalofcommunities #engageQM #Change4Life #Sugarsmart @QMULfestival