March 2021

Volume 38, Issue 1

Evaluating the environmental impact of the Welsh national childhood oral health improvement programme, Designed to Smile

Authors: Dr Bethan Bowden Dr Aoife Nic Iomhair Dr Mary Wilson
doi: 10.1922/CDH_000082020Bowden06


Introduction: Designed to Smile (D2S) is a national oral health improvement programme, aimed to reduce the prevalence of dental caries in young children in Wales. D2S has a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of the service it provides and demonstrate adherence to the sustainable development principle legislated within the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act. Objective: To review the environmental impact of D2S by estimating the carbon footprint of the programme and identify carbon hotspots for future targeted action. Research design: Process mapping identified the steps to deliver the supervised toothbrushing and fluoride varnish elements of D2S. Annual estimates of business travel mileage, financial spend on procurement, total number of plastic consumables and waste disposal were made. An online survey enabled calculation of staff commuting behaviour. These contributors were converted to carbon emissions using established carbon conversion factors. Results: The annual carbon footprint of D2S was estimated at 388 tonnes of CO2e (tCO2e) with 31% attributed to staff travel, 23% to business travel and 46% to procurement. An estimated 1 million plastic items were distributed. Conclusion: By promoting good oral care and preventing the need for future carbon intensive restorative dental treatments, D2S exemplifies a sustainable model of healthcare. Adopting reduce, reuse, recycle principles for plastic consumables and introducing sustainable procurement procedures could lead to further decarbonisation and reduction in plastic waste. Keywords: Environmental impact, carbon footprint, social responsibility, toothbrushing, programme evaluation, child oral health


Other articles in this issue

Article Pages Access
Acknowledgement of Reviewers 2-2 Download
Editorial: Migrant and refugee Oral Health 3-4 Download
Dental public health in action: foundation dentists’ delivery of an oral health promotion outreach project for people experiencing homelessness in London 5-9 Download
Characteristics of teenagers who use dental floss 10-14 Download
Evaluating the environmental impact of the Welsh national childhood oral health improvement programme, Designed to Smile 15-20 Download
Concurrent heavy use of general and oral health services among Finnish adults 21-25 Download
Cost Benefit Analysis of Two Oral health Improvement Programmes 26-32 Download
Is the Performance of a Periodontal Prediction Model for Identification of Diabetes affected by Participants’ Characteristics? 33-38 Download
Impact of the national program More Smiles for Chile on women’s quality of life 39-43 Download
Neoliberalism and Indigenous oral health inequalities: a global perspective 44-47 Download
Oral Health of African Immigrants: A participatory approach to needs assessment 48-52 Download
Oral health status and risk determinants in adult Syrian refugees in Jordan 53-58 Download
Subjective and objective social status: associations with psychosocial predictors and oral health 59-63 Download
John Roberts Obituary 64-64 Download


Online (Single user only)
Institution Online (IP address validation)

Back issues may be obtained from the publisher

Consider recommending subscription to your institution's library

You can view Open Access papers without a subscription.