RESIDENTS at a Rhyl care home are enjoying a sense of new-found confidence and improved health, thanks to a new scheme,

The Gwên am Byth programme offers carers at Bron Haul residential care training in oral healthand allows residents the opportunity to stay on top of their dental hygiene.

Staff at Bron Haul received training from the health board’s community dental service team.

One of the carers, Kim Owen, 21, of Meliden, has also been appointed as the home’s ‘dental champion’.

Debbie Williams, manager of Bron Haul, said: “The change we’ve seen in some of our residents has been incredible.

“We’ve seen people who were quite reserved and quiet really come out of their shells thanks to the confidence having better teeth has given them.

“The work Kim and the rest of our staff have put in has been brilliant, and the support from [dental health educator for the Denbighshire area] Angela Warmsley and the rest of the community dental team has been invaluable.

“Knowing there’s a friendly voice at the end of the phone to offer further support is really reassuring for our staff.”

The training helps staff to pass on good oral health practices to residents at the home, and helps them spot signs of potential oral health issues.

The scheme has seen staff in 16 residential homes in Denbighshire receive training, as well as in a number of other locations in Gwynedd and Flintshire. The Gwên am Byth programme is being rolled out across North Wales as part of a national drive to improve the oral health of older care home residents.

Bron Haul resident Mark Heaton said: “I only used to brush my teeth once a day and now I’m brushing more regularly. Before this programme I never used to see the dentist.”