Tooth decay in children could be prevented with early dental checks

October 13, 2022

The Fulbright Commission in Ireland and the RCSI Faculty of Dentistry, in collaboration with the Fulbright Smiling Children group, is advising parents to ensure children receive early dental checks, ideally before one year of age, to prevent more serious oral issues occurring at a later stage.

The announcement was made in advance of the Fulbright Smiling Children Dental Health Awareness event, which takes place at RCSI in Dublin City Centre on Wednesday, 26 October 2022.

The event is taking place as part of a collaboration between the Fulbright Commission and RCSI that is aiming to improve the oral health of the children in Ireland.

Led by experts in children’s dentistry, Prof. Jeffrey Dean, Fulbright Scholar, and Prof. John Walsh Paediatric dentist, the awareness evening aims to educate and inform parents as to how to create a solid foundation for lifelong oral health, preventing costly and more serious dental issues occurring at later stages. The availability and accessibility of well-trained dental healthcare professionals will also be crucial to help to maintain Oral Health.

Prof. Dean said: ‘It has been reported that lack of access to services and oral health improvement programmes, along with cultural and educational barriers, contribute to a large number of the dental problems in children. Good dental health requires an important effort by parents and children from an early age. This event aims to give the parents the tools they need to instill good dental habits in their children which will last them through life. This awareness event is an essential part of our overall strategy to reduce the prevalence of tooth decay that causes infection, pain, and tooth destruction in far too many Irish children today.’

Topics that will be discussed at the awareness event include: the first dental visit, best brushing habits, how to prevent decay in children with a teeth friendly diet, the benefits of fluoride and preventing tooth injuries.

Established in 2019, the RCSI Fulbright programme offers full scholarships for US candidates to complete their PhDs at the RCSI campus in Dublin. This initiative builds on RCSI’s existing partnership with the Fulbright Commission, which has enabled junior and senior academics from RCSI and US institutions to spend time sharing expertise across the two countries.

The Fulbright Smiling Children programme is part of a joint initiative between the Fulbright Commission and RCSI that aims to improve the dental health of children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.


You can watch back the recording from the Fulbright Smiling Children event below...

MGDS Session 1
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Chitta Chowdhury


PhD (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Asahi University School of Dentistry, Japan - 1991)
FFDRCSI (By exam : Oral Surgery with Oral Medicine, RCSI - 2004)
MPH (The University of Manchester, UK - 2009)
MFDS Glasgow (Ad Eundem : RCPS Glasgow - 2019)
BDS (Dhaka University - 1980)
DAND (PG Dip Applied Nutri and Dietetics, Dhaka University, 1982)

Current Posts:

Honorary Professor and PhD Co-supervisor, Faculty of Health, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.
Visiting Professor, Osaka Dental University, Japan.

Grace Kelly


BDS 2003
MFDS 2009
Dip Hyp UCL 2011
DSCD 2013
MSCD RCSP (Glas) 2013
FFD RCSI (Ad Eundem) 2016
MSc 2017

Current Post:

Hospital Practice - Senior Lecturer/Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, Cardiff University, UK.

Richeal Ni Riordain


BDS 2002
PhD Oral Medicine 2011
MBBS 2014
MA Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 2018
Certificate in Healthcare Management 2018
FDS Oral Medicine RCS(Eng) 2018
FFD RCSI (Ad Eundem) 2020

Current Posts:

Consultant/Senior Lecturer in Oral Medicine, University College Cork.
Honorary Associate Professor of Oral Medicine, University College London.
Regional Dental Academic and Research Advisor, Health Education England in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, UK.

Deepak Thomas


B Dent Surg 1992
MB BChBAO 2003
MRCS (Intercollegiate) 2007
MSc 2018

Current Posts:

Consultant Oral Surgeon at the Beacon Hospital Dublin and Kingsbridge Hospital Sligo.
Specialist Oral Surgeon at Northwest Oral Surgery, Sligo and Northern Cross Dental, Dublin
Limited to Private Practice.

Fergal Rory Maguire


BDS NUI 2001


M. Phil. Biomaterials  Science (University of Birmingham) 2007

M. Dent. Ch. Periodontics (U. Dubl.) 2008

FFD RCSI Periodontics 2008

Diploma of the European Federation of Periodontology 2008 

Ph. D Oral Biosciences (U. Dubl.) 2014


Current Post:

Private Practice limited to Periodontics and Implant Dentistry

John Ed O'Connell


BDS NUI 2004



MB, BCh, BAO, BA 2012


FRCS (OMFS) 2019


Current Post: 

Fellow in Head and Neck Oncology with Reconstruction, UK.

Deepak Thomas


B Dent Surg 1992

MB BChBAO 2003

MRCS( Intercollegiate)2007 

MSc 2018



Current Post:

Consultant Oral Surgeon at the Beacon Hospital Dublin and Kingsbridge Hospital Sligo

Specialist Oral Surgeon at Northwest Oral Surgery, Sligo and Northern Cross Dental, Dublin

Limited to Private Practice

Albert Yeung


BDS Glasgow 1989

MMedSci Sheffield 1999


MPHe Manchester 2004



FHEA 2007

FFPH 2007

MPhil Manchester 2010

ACIEA 2020

MCGDent 2021


Current Post: 

Consultant in Dental Public Health, NHS Lanarkshire, Scotland

Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Professional Adviser, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman