First Dental Steps Intervention - Feasibility Study
First Dental Steps Intervention: a feasibility study of a Health Visitor led infant oral health improvement programme
Research Team: Dr Jo Williams, Dr Ruth Kipping, Prof Zoe Marshman, Prof Frank De Vocht, Prof Chris Metcalfe, Reena Patel, Prof Robert Witton, Dr Patricia Albers
Who's involved: University of Bristol, University of Sheffield & Office for Health Improvement and Disparities
January 2020 - March 2022
What does this mean for public health professionals?
Results from this study will provide valuable insight into the intervention delivery and data collection methods used. This will be beneficial for local authority commissioners, public health nursing services, and early years health professionals, to understand not only the acceptability of the First Dental Steps oral health packs to the parents but also the advice about improving oral health. These health professionals can consider adding more oral health advice into their routine work and may consider delivering the FDS intervention or similar interventions.
What does this mean for the public?
Results from the study will allow us to understand how easily the First Dental Steps (FDS) intervention can be given to families. It will give us more information about how the healthcare professionals and parents found it. We will be able to get an idea of how easy it was to collect the data and from there we can possibly plan a larger study to test if the intervention increases the number of young children having their teeth brushed.
Childhood dental caries is a burden on the daily lives of children and their families. It is also one of the primary reasons for children requiring a general anaesthetic, with further impacts on the National Health Service (NHS). PHE have recommended specific oral health initiatives delivered as part of the Healthy Child Programme, to reduce dental caries and improve oral health. These initiatives include, providing Oral Health training for the workforce, integrating oral health advice into home visits and the timely provision of fluoride toothpaste. A new oral health initiative called ‘First Dental Steps’ (FDS) incorporates all three of these recommendations. The FDS intervention maximises the role of health professionals involved in early years care to improve oral health and increase uptake of dental services.