Does the Delivery of Tooth Brushing in Reception Years at Under Privileged Schools in Portsmouth Make a Difference in Oral Health Knowledge and Practice

Project Details


Children in disadvantaged areas suffer poorer oral health than those in more affluent areas. Despite, improvements in oral health in England, the inequality in oral health associated with deprivation persists (NHS digital, 2015). Targeted oral health promotion activities have been considered an ideal way to engage hard to reach groups with advice on prevention, which can lead to better oral health. Tooth brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste in schools is one of the recommended targeted health promotion activities (Public Health England, 2016).
The University of Portsmouth Dental Academy has been providing outreach services to the community since 2010. Dental Care Professional students, dental students and trained dental care professionals have been involved. These activities include fluoride application and screening of year reception children in schools and dental screening of adults with high dental needs and poor dental attendance, such as those in homeless shelters.
These outreach services were at first instituted to improve learning and promote the practice of prevention for the future dental workforce and further address the University’s strategy to embed itself in the local community in order to improve health and well-being.
Here at Portsmouth Dental Academy we follow evidence based guidance from Public Health England for the tooth brushing programme (Public Health England, 2016). We have targeted deprived schools in our local area with the highest DMF and provide them with all resources necessary, including consent packs, to deliver a daily brushing programme in the Reception year of school. We also offer training to staff at the start of the programme and return to the school once a year to observe and offer support if needed. Evidence suggests that this activity is beneficial if further tooth brushing is maintained at home. (Public Health England, 2016).
All the outreach services are based on the delivering better oral health toolkit for prevention. It is unclear whether the activities undertaken by the Dental Academy have made a difference in the oral health outcome of these children or their oral health behaviours at home. Some areas that this study would be focussed on providing answers to is whether tooth brushing undertaken in schools has an implication on tooth brushing behaviour generally.
1. To establish whether there is a self- reported difference in oral health brushing behaviour before and after joining a school with the tooth brushing programme.
2. To ascertain whether the parents of the children in the tooth brushing programme find it beneficial.
Effective start/end date31/08/1831/08/18


  • Oral and Dental Research Trust: £4,500.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.