LEICESTER’S oral health programme for children has won an award from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). Asian Lite reports
The programme – called Healthy Teeth, Happy Smiles – features simple, effective advice for parents on how to look after their children’s teeth.
The award puts Leicester City Council among 26 organisations that have been recognised by the RSPH for their work to promote health and wellbeing.
Leicester won a ‘two-year’ health and wellbeing award, which means it has been recognised for working closely with partners to deliver an efficient, effective health improvement plan.
Healthy Teeth, Happy Smiles is the city’s first dental public health programme and is an early intervention programme from birth. It is delivered by the city council in partnership with NHS England.
It includes free supervised tooth-brushing sessions in nurseries. Every child in the city also receives five oral health packs by the time they are five years of age, with free toothbrush and toothpaste, leaflets, booklets and tooth-brushing charts.
The programme is also educating parents about the dangers of prolonged bottle-feeding, which can cause tooth decay. Free bottle swaps are offered in all of Leicester’s children’s centres, where parents can swap bottles for a free-flow cup.
And oral health promoters work across the city to help improve oral health in Leicester. They work in local neighbourhoods and co-ordinate training and education sessions in the community, so that people can find out more about the best ways to improve their oral health.
Cllr Abdul Osman, assistant city mayor responsible for public health, said: “We’re working extremely hard in Leicester to improve people’s oral heath, so it’s excellent news that our hard work has been recognised by this award.
“We will continue to work with our partners to co-ordinate oral health improvement activities across the city.”
Shirley Cramer, chief executive officer of RSPH, said: “We are proud of our health and wellbeing awards, which reflect our long history of promoting good practice in public health.
“It was an extremely competitive field this year and I would like to congratulate all our 2015 winners for their innovative, progressive programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.”
To find out more about Leicester’s oral health improvement programme, visit leicester.gov.uk/healthyteethhappysmiles