Program to make oral care more inclusive

Friday, 24 May, 2024

Program to make oral care more inclusive

More than 36% of people with visible and non-visible disabilities feel anxious or frustrated when it comes to visiting the dentist.1 For instance, individuals with autism spectrum disorder may experience heightened anxiety in unfamiliar environments such as a dental practice, as it disrupts their normal routine. Similarly, a patient with cerebral palsy, who may face motor challenges without intellectual disability, might find it difficult to brush their teeth effectively due to limitations in fine motor coordination.

As a part of its goal to make oral care more accessible to everybody, Oral-B has launched the Disability Champions Award Programme in Europe, in partnership with the International Association for Disability and Oral Health ( iADH). The program aims to make the dentist office experience more inclusive and positive for those with disabilities and their caregivers. It encourages one member of each dental practice to become the personal lead to ensure their practice is committed to be more disability positive — because sometimes all it takes is one person to truly make a difference.

By completing the necessary online training and accessibility suggestions devised by iADH and Oral-B, dental staff  across Europe who meet the requirements will earn their Disability Champions award. They receive a badge that can be used within their office or on social media to encourage others to become Disability Champions.

Professor Pedro Diz Dios, President Elect of iADH, said, “At the iADH, we are about promoting equitable oral care. However, we often find that dental practitioners have pre-conceived notions of what makes their practice inclusive, accessible and positive for people with disabilities and their caregivers.

“We want to help dentists rethink how to provide a better service for all and believe that appointing one person in the organisation to become a Disability Champion will help drive the right change forward. The hope is that as many dental practices as possible across Europe take part in the Disability Champions Award Programme and make better oral care for all a reality.”

The program was launched at Oral-B’s ‘Championing the Perfect Clean for All’ global event being held in Amsterdam on 15–16 May.

1. The Oral Health & Disability European Study (2022) surveyed 5000 respondents across the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

Image caption: Leonora Scarpa, Johnny Grasser, Dr Vikas Prinja and Prof. Pedro Diz Dios in conversation at Oral-B’s ‘Championing the Perfect Clean for All’ event in Amsterdam. Photo: Business Wire.

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