FACCT is an important research study about children’s oral health. The FACCT study is a joint University College Cork/Health Services research project and is funded by the Health Research Board. FACCT stands for Fluoride And Caring for Children’s Teeth. The study will take place in primary schools in Dublin, Cork and Kerry.
Fluoride helps to strengthen our teeth and makes them more resistant to decay. Water contains some fluoride naturally and in Ireland water fluoride levels are adjusted so that it can help protect our teeth. Fluoride is also found in most toothpastes and mouthwashes.
In 2007, the government reduced the level of fluoride in drinking water. The FACCT study will look at the impact this reduction in fluoride has on the oral health of children in Junior Infants and 6th classes.
Your child kindly participated in the study in 2013/14 when they were in Junior Infants. Now that they are in 2nd class, we would like to invite them to take part in FACCT again so that we can check their adult teeth. This will give us a good understanding of how children’s teeth develop over time.
Healthy teeth are important for your child’s general health and well-being. The FACCT study will provide up-to-date information on the oral health of children in Ireland. The results of the FACCT study can be used to inform national policy and planning of dental services. By taking part in FACCT, you and your child will contribute to this process.
A dentist will visit your child’s school and will look at your child’s teeth. It will take less than 10 minutes and there is no treatment involved. There will be no risks or discomforts to your child.
Photographs will be taken of your child's front teeth to record marks on the teeth. The photographs will be a close-up of the teeth only, so it will not be possible to identify your child’s face. These photographs may be used for education and teaching purposes.
We will measure your child’s height and weight as indicators of your child’s well-being and development. Rest assured that we will do this in a sensitive and confidential manner. This information will be used for research purposes only, and again your child will not be identified.
Tell us about their teeth!
Children will be asked to complete a questionnaire about how they look after their teeth, how they feel about their teeth and what effect their teeth have on their daily life. This questionnaire has been used with children of this age in other countries. It will be completed under supervision on a secure laptop computer that will only be used for the FACCT Study. The computer will not be connected to the internet.
You will be notified if your child needs urgent dental care.
Your child will be examined once. However, to ensure accuracy, one child in 20 will be examined a second time — this is a normal procedure in studies like this one.
We may invite some parents and 2nd class children who take part in the main study to take part in a group discussion. The information from these meetings will help us understand how the public feels about policies to do with fluoride and dental health.
We may also like to see the children again when they reach 6th class so that we can check all their adult teeth.
Finally, if your child has a HSE School Dental Record then the FACCT Study would like to collect relevant oral health information from that record to help us understand how school dental services are used and whether these records could be used in the future to provide reliable information about children’s oral health. Not all children have a HSE School Dental Record.
All the information you give will be private and treated confidentially. It will be stored on a secure computer in UCC. No personal information will be shared with any other organisation. The paper Survey that comes with this pack will be sent to a professional data entry company so that the information in it can be put on computer to be analysed. Only the barcode you see on the Survey document can be used to link the information with your child, and we will not be sharing the barcode key. Once entered on computer, the computer files and paper Surveys will be returned to UCC and eventually destroyed.
UCC is the Data Controller for all information collected as part of this study. Personal data will be erased / destroyed when no longer required for the purposes of the study. The information will be used only for research or teaching purposes. We will never identify either you or your child.
Yes, certainly! If your child does not feel up to participating on the day, he/she is free to withdraw from the study.
No. This is not a dental check-up and it will not be possible to give feedback on an individual child’s dental health. You will be notified if your child needs urgent dental care.
Absolutely! The most rigorous infection control will be in place to protect your child and the dental team.
The entire examination area will be wiped down with disinfectant wipes at the start of each day and after each child is examined. A piece of tissue roll will be placed in the head area of the foam camping mat during the examination and changed after each child. Your child will be given protective glasses to wear which will be cleaned with disinfectant wipes between examinations. The dentist will wash his/her hands or use an alcohol hand rub (if hand-washing facilities are not available) before each examination. The dentist will wear non-latex gloves and a face mask and will use a sterile disposable examination kit for each child, which will be disposed of immediately after use. A disposable paper sheet will be placed under each set of instruments and changed between examinations. The dentist will change his/her gloves after every examination.
After reading this information leaflet, and if you agree for your child to participate, you will need to:
- Sign the Consent Form and invite your child to sign the assent form.
- Complete the Residential History questionnaire.
- Complete the Medical History form.
- Fill in the Survey that comes with the pack.
- (Cork and Kerry) Supply a sample of tap water from your child’s home so that we can measure the amount of fluoride in it (please ensure that the container cap is securely fastened before returning the water sample).
- Return the signed consent/assent form, the completed residential and medical history forms and survey, (Cork and Kerry) along with the water sample in the Ziplock bag, to the class teacher in the envelope provided (sealed) without delay.
The coordinator of the study is: Dr Máiréad Harding, Oral Health Services Research Centre, University College Cork.
Phone: +353 (0)21 490 1210 weekdays from 9am–5pm
The FACCT study is designed and co-ordinated by the Oral Health Services Research Centre, University College, Cork, and is supported by the Health Research Board, the HSE and the Department of Health.
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