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Smile4life Educational Event


29 November 2018, Edinburgh

‘Smile4life’ is a national oral health initiative to promote better oral health for homeless people, supported by the oral health improvement team (OHIT), within the Priority Groups workstream of the Dental Directorate. 

The fourth Smile4life educational event will take place on 29 November 2018. Delegates will include health and social care practitioners working with this ‘hard to reach’ group. A key theme of the day will be to showcase collaborative working and innovative methods of engaging with the homeless population, as well as the importance of embedding oral health within general health promotion. 

A variety of presentations are planned for the morning session, some examples include:

  • The Glasgow Dental Initiative which is a charity set up by two young dentists that provides rough sleepers with oral hygiene supplies and advice, as well as essentials including warm clothes and blankets.
  • ‘A Way Home Scotland’, a national steering group established to tackle youth homelessness. Delegates will learn about ‘affthestreets’ which is an innovative intervention to help young people gain a secure tenancy. 
  • The University of Dundee will give an overview of the current research on inclusive services for the homeless population as well as oral health prevention and treatment. 
  • ‘Homeless Action Scotland’ will outline the demographics in homelessness and the current policy initiatives aimed at improving the conditions of homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless. 

The afternoon will consist of ‘World Café’ sessions that will give delegates the opportunity to discuss emotive issues, such as the impact of trauma on psychosocial wellbeing and what can be done to address this. Sessions include:

  • The work of ‘Pathway’ a charity that aims to transform the health outcomes for homeless people and how they have developed a successful model of enhanced care co-ordination for homeless people admitted to hospital.
  • The Oral Health Improvement Plan (2018) and how this might impact on the role of General Dental Practitioners in providing dental care for homeless people.
  • The role of peer support and mentoring in supporting people to improve their oral health and build capacity for a preventive approach within health and social care services.

It is hoped that the event will be a platform for creating new models of care, improving practitioner understanding and client engagement. The ‘Smile4life’ online community of practice is a hub of educational resources for health and social care practitioners and members of third sector organisations.

To find out more go to:

or to register for the event, visit