How can oral health education knowledge make a positve impact on patients

Victoria Wilson teaches the NEBDN Certificate in Oral Health Education and shares her thoughts on the impact and importance of this course
“Oral health education plays such a significant ongoing part in a patient’s journey to oral health.  As a dental professional, I wish all our patients and the public could enjoy a lifetime of oral health, and I feel confident to say my peers with the same.
The sad reality is oral disease continues to be such a health burden on societies today, so our role in oral health education will continue to play an instrumental part as we strive collectively as a profession to get as many patients on a journey to oral health as possible.  I see there is a need for an abundance of oral health educators to support the work of dentists and dental hygienists and dental therapists.
Victoria Wilson Oral Health
Every dental nurse has the potential of playing a hugely important part in a patient’s journey to oral health. A dental nurse with these skills can make such a positive impact. We all know we need to clean our teeth but by offering patients an understanding of why flossing correctly and brushing makes a difference we can potentially save a generation from dental problems.
Now I have shared my concrete belief behind why oral health educators are so important, here are my top 5 tips on oral health education –
Advanced Oral Health Education Tip 1) Ask Questions and be curious!
Develop a huge curiosity and love on the subject of communication, to become effective behavioural change gurus.
The more skilled you are in communicating optimally with patients, the more patients will alter their behaviour change.
In the long term, this will impact patients significantly as they begin to make positive changes towards their own health. You have the power to make real benefits to someone’s relationship with your oral health regime. It’s a great responsibility and an incredibly rewarding role.
Advanced Oral Health Education Tip  2 – Knowledge is power!
Read read and read more to understand the patient’s history –
The more comprehensively you understand the patient’s medical history, dental history, social history the more tools you will have in your oral health education tool kit to utilise during oral health education relating the advice to be specifically relevant to the patient.
Advanced Oral Health education Tip No 3 – Never ever assume
It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming and answering a question for them when delivering a similar message in a limited amount of time. Always take the time to fully listen to every patient and understand the patient.  Patients who feel that you have listened to them and you understand them, are likely to obtain more positive outcomes.
NEBDN oral health education course
NEBDN oral health education course
Advanced Oral Health Education Tip 4 – Have a love of learning
Stay up to date on any public press features –
Relevant or irrelevant to the evidence-based research on oral health education, there can sometimes be some press releases that can stir questions in the public eyes.  It is helpful to be aware of any press articles related to dentistry and oral health, to be able to answer any patient’s questions and direct them to any other professionals if needed.
Advanced Oral Health Education Tip 5 – Keep Records
Document everything in as much detail as possible –
We are required to document comprehensive contemporaneous notes, and this is of great value for the long term care of all patient’s oral health journeys.

The NEBDN Certificate in Oral Health Education is a great course for dental nurses who want to make a real difference in patient care. We all know prevention is better than cure when it comes to dentistry and utilising the skills this course teaches is so rewarding.

This qualification could see you going into schools to educate children or even running your own clinic and is a great choice for nurses wanting ti improve their knowledge and career prospects

Are you interesting in taking this course? Click here to find out more