I was honoured to be interviewed for the cover feature of this month’s edition of BDJ in Practice, which addresses ‘Behaviour change;...
There is a great oral healthcare initiative travelling around first class cricket venues, called Boundaries for Life.
First of all, it gives fans, over the age of 35, the chance to undergo a free health screening process. The process measures blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels. That is because these are all key indicators relating to chronic diseases. Furthermore, as the checks are only 15-20 minutes long, they could save lives through the early detection of major killers. In particular it may spot obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and, of particular interest to me, oral cancer.
They give simple, healthy lifestyle advice to everyone taking part. As a follow up, a referral letter is sent to their doctor or dentist, if required.
A small consortium of health and sports stadia professionals established The Boundaries for Life initiative. A team of volunteer doctors, dentists and nurses provide the screening service. Since 2011, Boundaries for Life have visited selected professional cricket matches. This includes a recent Investec Ashes game held at Kia Oval, in London. Also, an England v Australia ODI held at Emirates Old Trafford. At Old Trafford over 50 fans are screened, by the team, on the day.
The Medical Lead at Boundaries for Life is Dr Chet Trivedy. He knows that men in their 30’s and 40’s are poor at presenting early symptoms of disease to their GP. For dentists, the availability of free oral healthcare and dental checks, in a relaxed atmosphere, is a valuable tool in the detection of symptoms associated with chronic diseases.
So, I visited Chet and the Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. And I was doing my bit for this excellent cause, while representing the Oral Health Foundation.
On the day, we provided free Oral Healthcare Checks for all LCCC staff and players. The checks are organised to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. Also, signs of damage that could be linked with mouth cancer were investigated. In addition, it gave participants the opportunity to chat with us about oral health, in general. Oral health is such an essential component of our wellbeing. So having a good diet, paying attention to oral hygiene and going to see your dentist on a regular basis, is the way to go. This will help keep conditions such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth cancer at bay.
Pictured – Dr Chet Trivedy (left) Dr Ben Atkins