There is currently no Health Service Executive (HSE) dental hygienist covering the Tallaght area of Dublin. CDI and Smiley Eileey’s awareness drive involves dental health promotion workshops in local childcare facilities to educate parents and show children how to care for their teeth correctly. Children also receive a goody bag containing a toothbrush and toothpaste.
According to Celine Moran, parenting specialist at the CDI, the workshops are ‘both informative and good fun for parents and their young children’.
The first Smiley Eileey wirkshop took place at Brookview Childcare Services centre, and further workshops are underway in other childcare facilities in the area.
In 2018, a Journal of the Irish Dental Association-published study found that 37% of HSE dentists reported seeing children with neglected dentition on a daily basis.
Study co-author, Dr Evelyn Crowley, said that the research revealed that almost one in four HSE dentists saw children ‘who presented late with a serious dental problem that any reasonable person would have recognised as needing professional dental attention earlier’.
The CDI works works to improve outcomes for children, families and communities in Tallaght and throughout Ireland. The initiative works to deliver evidence-informed prevention and early intervention programmes, in partnership with communities and services; and supports child and family workforce through professional development training and consultancies.
A video explaining the purpose of the programme can be viewed here.
More information on the CDI’s child dental health programme can be found at www.cdi.ie.