A Program Teaching Children to Use a Toothbrush Effectively
Worldwide, children are affected by oral diseases, most notably dental caries. This condition causes pain, difficulty eating, hours lost at school, and a decreased quality of life. As preventive oral health specialists, dental hygienists have an opportunity to change this situation by using one of the most powerful tools: a toothbrush!
For those dental hygienists inspired to improve the oral health of children, the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) has created the "Every Child has a Toothbrush Program". This program is designed to teach children how to use a toothbrush effectively so they can better control biofilm and reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Providing Hygienists with Small Grants and Toothbrushes
This program, jointly sponsored by Proctor and Gamble and Premier to date, will provide dental hygienists with small grants to help them conduct a community education intervention for children.
This program will involve dental hygienists providing oral health education to children, teaching tooth-brushing techniques and conducting an oral examination to determine other needs.
Each program requires that the dental hygienist document numbers of children examined, findings of the clinical exam, type of tooth-brushing instruction provided, as well as the findings of a 3 month follow-up in which the children will be re-examined and tooth-brushing techniques are reinforced.
Referrals made for further dental care should be part of each community intervention. Dental hygienists may choose to add to the program by performing sealants and/or fluoride varnish, but emphasis must be on education.
Modest grants in the amount of up to $250 (US) will be provided. Toothbrushes will be made available from P&G for children 8-12 years old. If other sized toothbrushes are needed for your sample group, please include that as one of the costs in your $250 grant request. Grant applications will remain open throughout the year until all monies have been allocated.Qualifications
Step 1: Identify a community of children in need of oral health education.
Step 2: Create an oral health education program that includes tooth-brushing instruction.
Step 3: Identify educational materials that can be provided to the children to reinforce key messages about tooth-brushing techniques and oral home care practices.
Step 3: Determine if other services will be performed as part of this intervention (e.g. sealants, fluoride varnish, etc.)
Step 4: Submit the application. Allow 4 weeks for committee approval.
Once your application has been approved, tooth brushes will be sent to you based on the number of children noted on your application.
Step 1: Implement your tooth-brushing program for your community of children.
Step 2: Create a 3 month Follow-up Assessment Form to review and improve tooth-brushing techniques among same target group, and to identify if children had further dental evaluations as recommended.
Step 3: Update your Follow-up Assessment Form for each child.
Step 4: Complete the Referral form for each child to refer children for further oral health care with a dental professional.
Step 5: Document your findings and referrals made.