Call for citizen scientists to 'brush-up' dentists' knowledge

Call for citizen scientists to 'brush-up' dentists' knowledge

Health researchers are inviting members of the public to share their experiences of visiting the dentist in a bid to help improve oral and dental healthcare.

The team from the Health Services Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen in partnership with the Universities of Dundee, West of England (UWE Bristol) and NHS Education for Scotland, launched an online platform called GUIDE to gather people’s views of dental care. 

In the GUIDE platform, available here  researchers hope that citizen scientists will help generate ideas and innovation to improve the implementation of best practice guidelines in dentistry. It will gather information from the public posing questions such as: ‘What makes you feel motivated to brush and floss your teeth?’ And ‘How can dental teams (dentists, dental nurses, hygienists, receptionists) support patients in improving their oral health self-care?’  

It will also offer participants the chance to learn more about oral and dental health and get involved in ongoing research. 

Beatriz Goulao, Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, who is leading the project explains: “Dental services have changed massively since the pandemic and with fewer opportunities to visit the dentist many people are rethinking dental self-care and assessment of their own oral health. 

“We are really keen to hear ideas from the public and their experiences of oral health and dental care so that we can improve these services. The GUIDE platform is a space where people can share their views and ideas, discuss them, and vote in the ones they like the most so we can achieve real change. 

“By launching the platform, we aim to put patients and the public at the centre of innovation in oral health and dental care.”  

The GUIDE platform is supported by an advisory group including dentists, guideline developers, patients and researchers who will help identify the most feasible ideas proposed to refine, evaluate and take forward. 

The platform will be live for the next six months and the results will be presented at an event to discuss the future of oral health and dental care.  

Anyone who participates will be invited to collaborate with the team in future research if they wish to stay involved.  

Find out more about GUIDE on this video, or join the platform here 

The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund at the University of Aberdeen