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Imma sinks teeth into new role

Residents at Strode Park Foundation’s Faversham home are brushing up on their oral health thanks to help from a new Oral health Champion.

Imma Massaguer, who has worked at Lady Dane Farmhouse since 2021 and is now the deputy manager, has taken on the additional Oral Health Champion role to make sure the residents’ dental and other health-related issues can be identified as early as possible.

As Oral Health Champion, Imma does a monthly check on all the residents’ mouths which includes their teeth, gums, tongue and lips and works towards the assessment criteria set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). She has also completed training from the NHS Dental Community Team.

Residents are encouraged to brush their teeth twice a day, but some residents don’t feel comfortable with holding a brush and some are unable to vocalise if they are experiencing tooth ache or other pains. The new Oral Health Champion initiative will help with this, and it will allow Imma to understand the challenges and put in as early intervention as possible.

Registered Home Manager, Claire Dante, said: “This is a great initiative but it’s important to note it’s not a substitute for visiting the dentist. Strode Park’s ethos is about encouraging independence, so this idea is all about that. We always question ‘what can our residents do for themselves?’ and then we work with them to identify only the bits they need a bit of help with. As a result, we have been surprised how many of our residents can do more than we thought for example following instructions, opening their mouth, holding the toothbrush and bringing it to their mouth.

“We want to celebrate what residents can do. A very simple task for you or I, is a big milestone for some of our residents and with Imma’s support we are already noticing the difference it’s making.”

Imma will be keeping track of the residents’ usual dental appointments and with the additional support offered to them through the new initiative it is hoped it will reduce the amount of dental referrals needed.

Oral Health Champion, Imma