The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy is asking for your support by taking part in a ‘Thunderclap’ to promote more prudent use of antibiotics.
Today is European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) and The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) feel this is an ideal opportunity for us all to consider how we can help keep antibiotics working, to fight infection and to limit the development of resistance.
President of the BSDHT Michaela ONeill said: “Dentistry now accounts for around 10 per cent of all antibiotic prescribing in the UK and the populations growing resistance to these is becoming a serious threat to public health.
“As dental care professionals we have a significant role to play in helping to slow down the development of this antibiotic resistance, and we are keen to highlight the problem.
“BSDHT members work closely with dentists and together we have a combined weight of responsibility to give our patients the best possible care.
“In our roles we have to be socially conscious and make sure that we meet the long term needs of our patients, the use of antibiotics where not strictly necessary could be hugely detrimental, we have to all be aware of this and make the right decision.
“It is taking an increasingly lengthy amount of time to develop new and effective antibiotics; so we need to make sure that we only use the existing ones when absolutely necessary to protect future generations.”
As a result, the BSDHT is supporting the Thunderclap initiative, created by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), by asking you to encourage your practice to join in and take the pledge “I will make more time to manage infections and only prescribe antibiotics in line with published guidelines".
By making this pledge we will help create an attention-grabbing ‘thunderclap’ – a simultaneous post on the social media accounts of all those who signed up. This will happen at 1pm on Monday 30 November.
The BSDHT is also encouraging you to invite your colleagues, as well as your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter to support the Thunderclap with #keep-antibiotics-working while raising awareness about European Antibiotic Awareness Day.
“Our members are in a position where we can influence decisions on antibiotics and it is important that we stop and ask ourselves ‘are antibiotics necessary or could there be an alternative treatment with the same or better outcome?’,” added Ms ONeill.
“We need to take the time to explain to our patients about antibiotics while also encouraging them to be aware of all of their treatment options for the best long term outcome. Maintaining good communication with our patients is central to addressing patient concerns and increasing education about all aspects of antibiotics.”
With antibiotic consumption in the UK steadily rising, alongside this growing resistance, the BSDHT believe we could be facing many future medical and surgical treatments, even basic ones, becoming fraught with danger. This is something we are already begging to see with around 25,000 Europeans deaths every year due to sepsis caused by antibiotic resistance bacteria.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a nationally recognised body that represents over 4,000 Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists across the UK and beyond.
BSDHT maintain an on-going dialogue with the General Dental Council (GDC), the Departments of Health and all of the main groups representing dental care professionals, and attends meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dentistry, bringing dental hygiene and therapy to the attention of government ministers and MP’s.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk for more information.
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