Oral Health Toolkit for People with Additional Needs Launched


  Posted by: Dental Design      23rd February 2022

People with learning disabilities will benefit from improved oral health thanks to an online toolkit developed by CDS CIC and Leading Lives, launched by Peter Aldous MP on a visit to the new Community Dental Services Clinic in Lowestoft on Friday 11th February.

During the visit, the MP toured the Lowestoft community dental services clinic, which treats patients with complex needs on a referral only basis, and met members of the dental team and representatives from Leading Lives. 

The online toolkit has been developed in partnership with fellow social enterprise, Leading Lives and aims to support people living with learning disabilities to develop skills to manage their oral health effectively. Produced in an interactive, easy read format, the toolkit will also help users to understand how choices such as diet, alcohol and smoking can affect oral health, and how maintaining good oral health can impact positively on their overall health and well-being.

The toolkit has been created through working closely with a user working party made up of customers at the Leading Lives Community Hub in Lowestoft to understand their needs and how to best convey information. The toolkit will be made available to any organisations supporting people with additional needs to better manage their oral health.

Peter Aldous, Member of Parliament for Waveney, said: “I’m most grateful to CDS and Leading Lives for the work that they are doing to ensure that people with learning disabilities have accessible information on how best to look after their oral health. A focus on preventative rather than reactive dental treatment is vital and the online toolkit being developed is a great exemplar of this.”

Helen Paisley, Chief Operating Officer for Community Dental Services said: ‘We are delighted to be able to welcome MP Peter Aldous to our clinic to see the investment in specialist dental care for people with additional needs locally and to see how we are developing new tools to help people manage their oral health.’

Emma Gunner, Assistant Director Oral Health Improvement said: “Making sure people with learning disabilities are supported is really important. Not maintaining good oral health can cause issues in the mouth causing pain and complications which can seriously impact on people’s overall health and well-being. We want our toolkit to be accessible to all, and our workshops with Leading Lives customers means we have been able to really understand user needs”.

Tony Carr, Managing Director of Leading Lives added: “We’re very proud to be working in partnership with CDS to produce this toolkit. Our social purpose is clear; to support people to lead the lives they choose, therefore empowering them to take charge of everyday health improving habits means they are able to get on with their lives. Our customers deserve to have the best dental experiences and oral health information possible, and this toolkit will help them do that.”

CDS is a referral only dental service providing dental care for people with complex needs who cannot be treated in general dental practices.

Leading Lives provides high quality social care support for people with learning disabilities, autistic people, and those with complex needs across Suffolk and beyond.

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