HABIT supports Health Visitors, and their wider team, to have effective oral health conversations with infants.
What is HABIT?
HABIT supports Health Visitors, and their wider team, to have effective oral health conversations with parents of infants. It is underpinned by robust behaviour change theory (including systematic reviews, qualitative interviews, intervention mapping and community engagement). As part of HABIT, Health Visitors receive a half day training session to update their oral health knowledge, with a strong focus on how to have effective oral health conversations with families. To support these conversations, several parent-facing resources have been developed, including: toothbrushing models, leaflet, website and six oral health videos. Health Visitors follow a standardised protocol. Some flexibility is retained to allow conversations to be adapted to individual parent needs while ensuring key activities take place such as a toothbrushing demonstration and creating an action plan.
"A mum commented that toothbrushing was a battle, ‘a two-man job.’ The nursery nurse used the HABIT resources to help her to set a plan to make it more fun. She commented that it was a really good idea to brush her own teeth at the same time as her child so she would set him a good example"
The pre-course package introduces the HABIT resources and provides an oral health update. This enables everyone to attend the interactive training session on a level playing field, allowing more time for discussion and collaborative activities.
Working with communities across Bradford and parents with limited English, we have developed several parent-facing resources to support oral health conversations, including: toothbrushing models, leaflet, website and six oral health videos.
The HABIT intervention is underpinned by behaviour change theory, and this is a key focus of the HABIT training session. Time is spent assessing readiness to change, how to 'roll with resistance' as well as setting goals and creating action plans.
Forum theatre is a type of role play with actors, that allows health visiting teams to practice their oral health conversations in a safe and supportive space, encouraging discussions with colleagues.
Where HABIT fits in
When developing HABIT, we worked with health visiting teams to standardise a set protocol for the delivery of HABIT, whilst retaining flexibility to adapt to individual parent needs. This means HABIT can be used to support health visiting teams at any of their visits with families, both universal and as part of the MECSH program.
Our interactive HABIT training session equips Health Visiting teams with the knowledge and confidence to undertake effective oral health conversations.
Download a PDF copy of the HABIT training overview here
"A staff nurse used the teeth model for a family who were not fluent in English and no interpreter was present. They liked the visual demonstration."