Dental students focus on oral health

Dental students focus on oral health

Our residents and staff have supported dental students in looking at the impact of social housing on oral health – with a Mad Hatter’s themed quiz.

A group of dental students from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry asked us if we could work with them to enable them to carry out a project in the community which focusses on oral health.

The students wanted to investigate the relationship between social housing and oral health and as part of the project 19 residents took part in a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed quiz that looked at the sugars that are hidden in everyday foods. This was timely given a recent announcement from Public Health England about the high sugar levels found in breakfast cereals.

As well as a quiz about mouth care and sugar there was a ‘name that song’ round using songs with smile or sugar in the title. Everyone went away with a dental health care goody bag provided by the students.
The project is part of an Inter Professional Engagement (IPE) programme which sees the Year 2 dental students undertake a number of projects in the community designed to raise oral health awareness and to improve access to dental care.

Estelle Williams, Year 2 dental student said: “It has been really interesting investigating whether or not living in social housing has an impact on oral health. The quiz was especially well-received – people are always amazed at some of the less obvious foods which contain sugar.”

Feedback from the residents was positive as Val Sneddon tells us: “It was a very good afternoon and really informative, it was great how the students mingled with us and answered all of our questions.”

The project is overseen by Ruth Potterton, lecturer in community based dentistry and Reena Patel, dental public health specialty registrar at Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry. Ruth said: “We could not run our IPE programme without the support of organisations like Plymouth Community Homes and we want to extend our thanks to them and their residents who really engaged with the students.”

The students were able to present their findings to the dental school panel.

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