The 41st National Smile Month, which has been taking place since 15 May, encourages health professionals to spread positive oral health messages in their communities. At hospitals across Kent, Surrey and Sussex, dental professionals are training ward staff on the importance of oral health with the Mouth Care Matters programme. The programme evolved when it was discovered that many inpatients at East Surrey Hospital had very dry mouths and there was no consensus of opinion over where mouth care should be recorded. Today, 12 hospital trusts in the region have Mouth Care Leads - dental nurses, general nurses and speech and language therapists - who are training hospital staff in mouth care and helping to maintain the health and dignity of numerous patients.
One of National Smile Month's key messages is to cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. In this issue of BDJ Team our verifiable CPD article looks at the links between consuming sour novelty sweets such as ‘Toxic Waste’, ‘Brain Ulcer’ and ‘Brain Blasterz’ and developing dental erosion. These sweets, say the researchers, are of particular concern because they contain high levels of free sugars and acids, and they are marketed directly at children.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get involved in researching a dental-related topic yourself? Then be sure to read my interview with dental hygienist turned researcher Susan Bissett this month. Susan describes the moment when she was given a research fellowship as like a ‘lottery win, a life changing-moment’. Her enthusiasm and passion for research are infectious.
BDJ Team will soon be launching its own submission site for original research - watch this space!