A new Smokefree Smiles package is available to empower oral health professionals to take a client’s lifestyle into consideration when providing care and to help their patients quit smoking.
Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV), in partnership with Quit Victoria, the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, has produced the Smokefree Smiles package.
“Most smokers want to quit and expect their oral health professional to talk to them about smoking,” said Dr Melinda Tam, Smokefree Smiles Project Officer and DHSV Statewide Support Officer. “Once you know that your client smokes, following up with a friendly offer of help has the biggest impact on whether or not they try to quit,” she said.
This includes engaging clients in meaningful conversations about their health, by incorporating the principles of value-based health care in a person-centred model of care.
The Brief Advice model (Ask, Advise, Help) provides a simple and effective way to start a conversation about smoking. Oral health professionals can show their clients that they really do care about their health, without coming across as pushy or judgemental and can improve the client’s chances of quitting.
The package has been developed by oral health professionals and specialists from Quit. It combines the latest evidence-based best practice, with practical tips and advice that can be used straight away. The package includes an online training course, chairside guide, posters and Quitline referral information for clients. The online training program is free and requires the health professionals to register with Quit. Information for oral health professionals can be accessed through the Quit education portal.
The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and all community dental agencies will soon receive a resource starter pack. Extra resources can be ordered for free from Quit Victoria by visiting the website and filter by ‘for oral health’.
Other health professionals are also encouraged to start the conversation.Submit your story!