OUR HAPPY PRESS RELEASE
As the state of children’s oral heath reaches crisis point in the UK, one Liverpool mum is on a mission to put a stop to dental pain and tooth loss among youngsters. Former Dental nurse, Practice Manager and Dental Nurse Educator, Katie Dullaghan has seen first hand the rising numbers of children experiencing excruciating pain and unnecessary tooth loss. Last year more than 8,000 UK children had teeth extracted in hospital while 1 in 4 primary age kids already have decay.
Working in NHS Out Of Hours Dental Care across 5 North West boroughs, Katie quickly identified a need for change and set about creating Happy Teeth, an oral health education company aimed at educating not only children and parents, but also teaching staff, in good dental hygiene.
Drawing from 13 years’ experience in the dental industry, Katie is passionate about inspiring change and has developed an innovative, one-day teacher training course and a series of parent and children workshops to promote good oral hygiene habits. She said: ‘Dental Decay is 100% preventable. A lot of the reasoning behind the oral health epidemic we have in the UK is based around a lack of education around eating and cleaning habits.
New research has identified that out of date public health guidelines do not match with today’s current eating habits. “ If parents, teachers and dentists can work together and be consistent with the guidance it could be really straight forward to change habits and reduce pain and suffering due to dental decay.’ Katie believes that the key to promoting good dental hygiene is through school and is now delivering Happy Teeth Education workshops to teaching staff across the country. The one-day course gives teachers the skills and confidence to deliver an effective oral health programme which meets the needs of the school and its pupils.
Happy Teeth provides invaluable insights and guidance on ideas proven to reduce dental decay, improve oral health and inspire change among youngsters. Katie explains:” During the development of the Happy Teeth workshops I aimed to create an effective whole school oral health prevention programme to include everyone. “While implementing prevention, I wanted something in which the whole school can develop and work towards a Happy Teeth ethos. Through this, simple, memorable and key messages are incorporated, and can make a real difference in encouraging a change in oral health habits.
Happy Teeth also works alongside parents and children with informative, interactive workshops for carers of children of all ages. From community groups to nurseries, drop in centres and coffee mornings, Katie helps carers make informed dietary decisions and to get kids brushing regularly at home. Happy Teeth also delivers fun, educational workshops for kids which are tailored by age and are suitable for early years and key stages 1-3. Getting kids talking about their favourite food and drinks and the sugar content plays a key part of the workshop and Katie encourages pupils to get hands on with models, tooth brushing techniques and provides toothpaste samples to take home. Katie said: “I’m aiming to finalise Happy Teeth technology which will enable me to address the epidemic on a broader scale.
Our vision is to dramatically reduce the number of children suffering from dental decay, address absence from school due to dental and hospital appointments and reduce the cost to the NHS which is currently in the millions!