Dr Ben Atkins BDS



Dr Ben Atkins BDS

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NICE Oral Health Promotion in the Community

21st December 2016

NICE Oral Health Promotion in the Community is a new quality standard.

The new quality standard (QS139) covers activities undertaken by local authorities to improve oral health. It also covers General Dental Practices. The focus is on people at high risk of poor oral health or who find it difficult to use dental services. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

Specialist Committee Member

As a Specialist Committee Member I was involved in the development of this quality standard. So I am delighted with the outcome of our work. The standard is incorporated into 2 NICE pathways;  Oral health improvement for local authorities and their partners; & oral and dental health.

NICE Oral Health Promotion in the Community Highlights

The standard recommends that local authorities could provide tooth brushing schemes in schools and nurseries. This would be  in areas where children have poor oral health.

Furthermore, councils could introduce tooth brushing, fluoride varnishing schemes or programmes providing healthy eating advice.

NICE asks those providing emergency dental care to advise patients of the importance of regularly seeing a dentist.

In addition, the quality standard calls on health and social care providers to ensure oral health is included in care plans for people receiving support. Providers could include day-to-day support to help people maintain good oral hygiene or refer people to dental services when required. It also addresses oral health in care plans for older people who have help with daily living.

Furthermore, at the opposite end of the age spectrum, almost 25% of five-year-olds in England had some experience of obvious tooth decay. This was according to a Public Health England dental survey in 2015. On average, at age 5, children have 3.4 decayed, missing or filled teeth. This quality standard will help, but it is an issue across dentistry as a whole.

Update: –

Good to see the Oral Health Foundation issue a detailed press release on this topic on January 26th 2017