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Raising Awareness of Supervised Toothbrushing Programmes in the Community

To promote the uptake of supervised toothbrushing programmes it’s important that settings and families are aware of existing schemes and what they look like and aim to do. The provider and setting can each engage in various efforts to raise awareness of supervised toothbrushing programme and maintain momentum. The following section presents some recommendations based on our discussions with providers, settings, staff and parents. 

 

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  • Centres of Religion
    Consider approaching local centres of religion/faith to reach a wider audience. An example of this is the ‘Smiling with the Prophet’ project in Bradford. This project raised oral health awareness in mosques, introducing the Prophet Mohammed as a role model to encourage young children to look after their teeth and eat well.
  • Poster Programmes
    Advertising information about the programme through public advertisement, such as banners on buses, at bus stops, and across available poster-stands. Also, in places where families and people who work with young children and families are likely to visit such as local library, swimming pool, children’s centres and supermarkets. Consider if you need to provide posters in additional languages to address potential language barriers.
  • Health Visiting Teams
    Working with health visiting teams to coordinate information, raising awareness of toothbrushing programmes to new parents, and offering information to them.
  • Link With Other Campaigns
    Consider approaching other healthy lifestyle campaigns, to coordinate work and spread information more widely. An example of such a campaign is the GULP (Give Up Loving Pop) campaign which raises awareness on the negative impact sugar has on teeth and overall health.
  • School Initiatives
    Consider finding existing health/oral health initiatives to help raise awareness of supervised toothbrushing programme. There are several initiatives already in place across different areas of the country, such as ‘Book, Brush, Bed’, which seek to instil healthy and regular routines.
  • Social Media
    Being very active on social media about the programme. Using social media can raise awareness of a supervised toothbrushing programme with parents and other settings. Specific posts can be used to provide updates, give reminders about the importance of home brushing or link to events such as National Smile Month.
  • Local Magazine & Newspaper
    Consider raising awareness through your local magazine or newspaper. You can advertise the presence of the programme or engage the community through local competitions. One such example is where a provider liaised with the local council and local supermarket to advertise a summer colouring competition of toothbrushes and toothpaste. The local councillor decided the winner, and in collaboration with the supermarket, they were provided with a fruit hamper, toothbrushes and toothpaste as a prize.
  • Involve Your Local Library Service
    If possible, provide local libraries with the funds to send local nurseries/schools a resource box and discuss the possibility of providing all 3-year-olds a book on toothbrushing.
  • Community Building
    Liaise and build partnerships with family agencies supporting families such as charities, food banks, local farms, etc. Provide them with oral health training so everyone is giving consistent messaging.
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