The Irish Society of Periodontology worked with other dental associations and with the Dublin Dental School as it delivered the message “health begins with healthy gums” for European Gum Health Day 2018.
The Irish Society of Periodontology publicised the May 12 awareness day on its own website and social-media pages. Support for the event was also provided on the social-media outlets of the Irish Dental Health Foundation, the Irish Dental Hygienists’ Association, the Irish Dental Association, and Irish Dentistry magazine.
The first two organisations are willing to increase their involvement in activities for Gum Health Day next year and become active partners in promoting it.
At the Dublin Dental School, posters promoting European Gum Health Day 2018 were displayed in staff and student areas throughout May. Third-year dental students took part in a specially organised seminar on oral hygiene and preventive techniques. This seminar used a “flipped classroom” design, in which student groups researched preventive approaches and then “taught” their student colleagues about what they had learned. Periodontal faculty members then participated in a discussion with the students on the topics covered.
A simple patient brochure was prepared for use at student clinics during May, featuring a series of simple questions about gum health and instruction for patients on how to assess signs of gum inflammation. New patients attending periodontal clinics in May 2018 received free oral-hygiene aids and oral-hygiene instruction at their initial assessment.
Irish Dentistry magazine published a news feature on European Gum Health Day based on the press release issued by the society, and there also plans for articles in the Journal of the Irish Dental Association and Ireland’s Dental Magazine.
Looking ahead, the Irish Society of Periodontology has started to compile a more detailed list of media outlets – lifestyle/health editors at television and radio stations, national and regional newspapers, etc. – so that it will be able to improve its reach in the future.
The society also plans to develop some simple materials for its members to use to attract the interest of local media outlets in events organised for European Gum Health Day. Although this year it prepared a simple overview (in a question-and-answer format) and some members contacted local newspapers and radio stations, this did not result in any coverage.