Learning the skills of life – Justin Smith Director of Marketing CALCIVIS Ltd

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  Posted by: Dental Design      12th September 2019

As a new academic year approaches, it is time to turn our attention to young people –particularly those that are embarking on an exciting new chapter in their lives. Every year approximately 2 million young people begin higher education in the UK[1]and a high proportion of this number choose to study away from home. This can be a difficult experience for parents of course, and many describe the vacuum that is left behind as their offspring “fly the nest”. However, it is a thrilling time for these individuals as they come of age, prepare for freedom and make the transition from childhood to adulthood. But let’s not forget that along with all the excitement and anticipation, comes the responsibility for aspects of life that they may not have considered previously, and that includes their health.

Living independently and being self-sufficient can be overwhelming to start with. Firstly, leaving the security of home, finding suitable accommodation and managing finances can be challenging, but on top of that, students have to organise themselves quickly so they can complete domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking and laundry along with their studies. Managing this successfully can come as a shock to some young people and they also have to adapt and fit in to a completely new environment. It is important for them to be energetic, confident and to establish friendships, but they also need to learn how to balance the responsibilities of academic study with the social demands of student life.

Most higher education providers organise a Freshers’ Week at the beginning of the academic term to enable new students to navigate their way around their surroundings, participate in new activities and meet new people. As well as the perfect chance to experience some social events, it is a week for raising awareness of the services available to students such as financial aid, counselling sessions, childcare, careers advice and health matters. Certainly, most universities provide tips for staying healthy with support and treatment services available for all kinds of physical and mental health issues. Additionally, as many young people are striking out on their own for the first time, students are actively encouraged to take ownership of their own health and well-being.

Oral health is an integral part of physical and mental wellbeing[2]and any impairment can seriously affect daily activities as well as general health. Indeed, many illness and diseases have their origins in the mouth and are often the result of poor dental hygiene. Regrettably, students are typical of many others in this age group –they are risk takers. Without parents to keep an eye on them they can easily slip into unhealthy lifestyle habits such as poor diet, using tobacco or drugs, high alcohol consumption and poor oral hygiene, which all have the potential to impact on their attendance and academic performance, their quality of life and long-term health.[3]

With this in mind, dental professionals have a critical role to play in delivering dental and oral health education to young people. As well as providing oral hygiene instruction and promoting healthy behaviours, emphasis should be placed upon the connection between oral health and overall health and the importance of dental disease prevention. The CALCIVIS©imaging system is revolutionising patient education by delivering information and engaging patients at a whole new level. Developed to support the preventive approach to dentistry, the CALCIVIS imaging system uses a bioluminescent photoprotein that produces light in the presence of free calcium ions, as they are released from actively demineralising tooth surfaces. The device then captures these light signals and displays a glowing map of demineralisation or ‘hot spots’ at the chair side. Both appealing and informative, CALCIVIS images allow dental professionals to detect caries lesions’ activity status in the very early stages, in time for non-surgical intervention to be delivered to inhibit disease progression. Most importantly, the system enables patients to see demineralisation that could lead to dental caries, and understand the consequences of poor oral hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Dental professionals now have the means to change attitudes and deliver interesting and meaningful oral health education. When patients are able to see that a dental practice is committed to disease prevention rather than providing a place to run to when they have toothache, they are more likely to return for regular examinations. Education that makes the right impact also means that young people are better equipped to take charge of their oral health and develop healthy habits, which have the potential to last them a lifetime. The parents and carers of these young people will be grateful too. It can be nerve-wracking leaving a young person to branch out on their own. Yet there is always great comfort in knowing that they are happy and healthy, even when they are living away from home.


For more information visit www.calcivis.com, call on 0131 658 5152
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[1]Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2017/18 – Student numbers and characteristics.


 [Accessed 18thJune 2019]

[2]FDI World Dental Federation. FDI unveils new universally applicable definition of ‘oral health’. September 2016.


[3]Dewald L.L. Dental Health Practices in US College Students: The American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment Findings. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice. Spring 2016 9(1)26-37. https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1363&context=jhdrp[18thJune 2019]

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