Childsmile is a national programme intended to improve oral health of children and reduce inequalities in dental health and access to dental services. It is funded by the Scottish Government.
The four main factors are:
? Childsmile Practice
? Childsmile Core
? Childsmile Nursery
? Childsmile School
Every child has access to Childsmile. Health visitors introduce families to Dental Nurses or Dental Health Support Workers (DHSW) who will provide free dental packs containing a toothbrush and toothpaste. The dental team will give information/advice on:
? how teeth grow and develop
? food and drinks
New parents will be encouraged to register children with a dentist.
The National Dental Inspection Programme 2008 highlighted a large percentage of children with dental decay by the time they reached Primary 1. Evidence suggests that dental caries is basically a disease associated with social deprivation. Dental caries are common in both children and adults, and occur most often as a result of poor dental hygiene. It is preventable and why Childsmile was incorporated in the Scottish Action Plan for improving oral health in children. A lifetime cycle of dental treatment for young children, may be as a result of failing to demonstrate good oral hygiene to parents and children.
Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School work within all education establishments supporting children living in deprived localities as defined by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Parents require to give consent for fluoride varnish applications. Families may be registered with a dentist already or simply don’t understand the importance of oral hygiene therefore consent is not always given. A Childsmile DHSW may then support parents to clarify the importance of good oral health.
There is a focus to deliver a range of early interventions in good oral hygiene for children who attend nursery until they leave primary school including.
Tooth brushing demonstrations
Fluoride advice and fluoride varnish application
Childsmile represents a preventative care guide following guidelines and policies by The National Dental Inspection Programme. This is undertaken in schools and nurseries throughout Scotland. This consists of:
Supervised daily tooth-brushing
Oral health education for children
Advice and information for parents/carers
Free dental packs containing toothbrush and toothpaste.
Fluoride varnish applications to children’s teeth twice a year in priority nurseries and schools.
Fissure sealants to permanent molars.
Supervised tooth-brushing until the age of 7
Foods and drinks containing sugar should be kept to a minimum and are best given at mealtimes
Toothbrushes are a potential source of infection.
Staff should integrate an organised and effective tooth brushing regime within the school routine.
Cleaning protocols should be followed for the cleanliness of storage units and tooth brushes stored appropriately in order to minimise cross-contamination in schools and nurseries.