Dental hygienist Kellie O’Shaughnessy, who is based in Ballina, Co. Mayo, is working with an innovative oral health programme for children – the Dental Den.

“Our practice was seeing high levels of decay in children with poor oral hygiene, so we created a space that is non-clinical, child friendly, adaptable for all age groups and can facilitate families,” said Kellie.

The Ballina Dental team use a caries risk assessment checklist (CRAC) to assess patients for referral to the Dental Den. Children visiting the Dental Den receive education on plaque and tooth decay, oral hygiene, and diet, particularly sugars and snacking, and learning to read food labels. Quizzes and questionnaires help empower children and parents to make the changes to improve their health.

Kellie is working with the HSE so that the Dental Den programme can be evaluated and shared. If you would like more details on running a programme in your practice, please contact Kellie, Tel: 087-922 4347, or Tel: