Our Essex team recently partnered with fellow social enterprise Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions – Choice and Control, to attend their ‘Big Health Day providing health and well-being advice for people with learning disabilities and their families and carers.
People with learning disabilities often find it difficult to visit the dentist and we were able to offer advice about oral health in general, effective teeth cleaning and also explain what happens in a dental surgery for check-ups and treatment. An interactive game about tooth friendly food and drink explained a healthy eating message and how this affects oral health.
The CDS mobile unit was also on site to allow visitors to look around a fully functioning dental clinic and ask any questions to help them overcome any fear or anxiety about visiting the dentist. There were also lessons about how to brush teeth correctly with a big model tooth brush and teeth.
This was a great opportunity for us to engage with the people that we see in our clinics and who meet our criteria for referrals as we can tell them about our services and remind them how important it is to visit a dentist regularly as part of caring for their teeth and oral health in general. We were able to reduce anxiety about visiting the dentist and explain about the best way to care for your teeth.
It also provided an opportunity for us to gather information, through a survey, about how people with learning disabilities have found accessing dental services and this will be followed with focus groups to help improve support for people with learning disabilities. Acclimatisation sessions will also be held at Grays Clinic to help people with learning disabilities feel more comfortable visiting the dentist.