Oral Health Promoter

Our Oral Health Promoter, provides advice and support to our community healthcare teams and families across Medway ensuring that the key messages for Oral Health are always delivered at the highest standard. Our health visiting team also work alongside our oral health promoter to promote healthy oral health habits to new parents and provide information using the Medway smiles passport, which is an incentive to ensure that every child has access to NHS dental care across Medway from the age of 6 months old. 

Why is Oral Health Important?

Oral health is very important, because it is the gateway to our overall health. Not properly taking care of our teeth and gums can lead to a variety of health problems. From loss of teeth, gum disease to heart disease, respiratory disease and even diabetes. There have also been links found between poor oral health and osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Our teeth help us chew and digest food, they help us to talk and speak clearly and they also give our face its shape.

Bad breath is also very common in people with poor oral hygiene; it is often caused by a build-up of plaque and is a symptom of gum disease and tooth decay, as well as being a risk factor for developing serious long term health conditions it can also be very embarrassing, undesirable and in turn can impact our confidence and mental wellbeing.

Tooth loss through dental decay and gum disease are almost entirely preventable and there’s no reason why, with a good daily oral health routine, we cannot keep our teeth for life.

Our Mission 

We believe for every child to have the best start in life begins with the mouth, our Health Visiting team are trained in Early years: Oral Health and work collectively to deliver the key messages that we believe help to lay the foundations for a healthy mouth throughout childhood, that will make a positive impact in their later life. As a team we promote the Dental Check by One: visiting the dentist before your child’s 1st birthday. We recommend that you take your child to the dentist as soon as they cut their first tooth. Children that visit the dentist twice yearly from an early age become familiar and confident with the dental surgery and the team and it will prevent your child from the possibility of developing early tooth decay.

Here at MCH, we promote the Dental Check By One. This programme promotes parents and carers taking their children to the dentist before their child’s 1st birthday. Parents/carers are advised to take their Medway smiles passport along with their red book to each dental visit. For more information about DCBY1 visit https://dentalcheckbyone.co.uk/

Services for Early Years

We provide services and support for Oral Health to the following groups below:

  • Nurseries 
  • Ante-natal Groups 
  • Post Natal Groups 
  • Parent and Baby groups
  • Schools Reception and key stage 1  

You can access support through services at our Children Hubs and wellbeing centres. Use the following link, where you will find updates and information for our latest timetables: https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200390/children_and_family_hubs_timetable

Getting your child registered with an NHS Dentist 

It’s important that you register your baby with a dental practice as soon as they are born, this is to avoid delays when they are ready to start visiting the dentist (when they cut their first tooth). Click the link to find a Dental Practice near you: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-dentist

You can also call NHS England 03003112233. If your child has Dental Emergency please call 111

Oral Health During Pregnancy

Because of hormone changes during pregnancy, some women's dental health needs more care during this time. For example, they may notice that their gums seem to bleed more easily.

Gums become sore and swollen during pregnancy, and they may bleed. This is due to hormone changes in the body. This means that they must keep their teeth and gums clean and visit their dentist regularly. They may also need appointments with the dental team for thorough cleaning and to help keep plaque and tartar from building up, and for advice on caring for their teeth at home.

Pregnant women with healthy gums may be around three times less likely to have a baby that is premature, reducing the risk of having a low birth weight. Research says there is a one-in-four chance that a pregnant woman with gum disease could give birth before 35 weeks. This is because gum disease raises the levels of the chemicals that bring on labour.

Contact us:

0300 123 3444 and option 4

Introducing Harper the Tooth Fairy. HarVey Bears ‘go to’ for anything dental. Harper will soon be available for visits to Early Years centres and Nurseries across Medway, spreading the fundamental knowledge about the importance of Oral Health in children. Harper sings educational ‘happy smiles songs’ and provides a pack of useful tools to help parents and Early Years workers make tooth brushing fun. You can download our FREE toothbrushing chart and a Harper the Tooth Fairy certificate here

Listen to our toothbrush song here

Medway Smiles Passport

Visiting the dentist with your baby
Brushing your babies teeth
Why it is important brushing your child's teeth