Having teeth taken out under a general anaesthetic is the most common planned reason for young children to go to hospital in England and Scotland. Children who have baby teeth taken out are more likely to get tooth decay in adult teeth. There are three main reasons. Children may: eat or drink too much sugar; not brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; only see a dentist when they have toothache. Children in disadvantaged communities are more affected. We know that telling people about healthy habits is not enough for change. Rather than telling, we turned the conversation around, so parents decided which behaviour they felt they could change for their child. This type of talk is called motivational interviewing. We used that way and behaviour change methods to build the new conversation, called the DR-BNI. The DR-BNI conversation between dental nurse and parents takes 30 minutes. We wanted to compare the number of children getting new tooth decay two years after they had baby teeth taken out, for parents who did and did not have the DR-BNI. In the randomised controlled trial, families had an equal chance of getting the DR-BNI or a control conversation with no preventive goals. The dental nurse made one follow-up appointment with the child’s dental practice (GDP) for children in DR-BNI group. We wrote to the GDP about the goals chosen and asked the GDP to treat the children as likely to develop new decay. We ran the trial in 12 UK Centres. One dentist visited the children two years later and checked their teeth in school. DR-BNI children developed less new tooth decay with a 29% reduction in risk. We are working with Health Education North West to turn the research DR-BNI into an education module for NHS dental nurses.
- Pine C, Adair P, Burnside G, Robinson L, Edwards RT, Albadri S, Curnow M, Ghahreman M, Henderson M, Malies C, Wong F, Muirhead V, Weston-Price S, Whitehead H. A new primary dental care service compared with standard care for child and family to reduce the re-occurrence of childhood dental caries (Dental RECUR): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Nov 4;16:505