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Fantastic flossers needed for oral health flashmob

Date 15.11.2018

‘Flossing’ experts can show off their terpsichorean talents by taking part in a flashmob dance next week –  organised to raise awareness of oral cancer – and win menthol-cool prizes in the process.

The University’s Dental Nursing lecturing team have organised the ‘flashmob floss’ with the aim of getting students to dance alongside their first year Dental Nursing student peers and receive information about what to do if you think of oral cancer.

Those who can bust ‘Backpack Kid’ moves can come along to the Engine Shed at Waterside campus, 2pm on Tuesday 20 November. The event should finish at about 2:30pm and University staff and members of the public are also welcome to take part.

For those who are unaware of the dance or need to brush-up on their flossing, a choreographer explains how to perform it in this helpful video.

Anne Hicks, Maxillofacial Clinical Nurse Specialist from Northampton General Hospital, will also be on-hand to give advice and guidance about oral cancer and maintaining good oral health.

Flashmobs are organised dance or music performances that, for members of the public in the immediate area, appear spontaneously and which they can take part in or watch and film.

The best flossers will be rewarded with themed prizes including toothpaste from Colgate and, of course, dental floss.

Nicky Peasnell, Senior Lecturer in Dental Nursing and whose light-bulb moment created the flashmob idea, said: “For many students living at University might be their first experience of life away from home. But it’s important they don’t let their wellbeing slip, including their oral health.

“We always advise students to regularly visit the dentist for check-ups that can spot signs of possible oral cancer, whether at home or on campus.”

Official advice from the Oral Health Foundation, whose Oral Cancer Action Month runs throughout November each year, is:

  • Don’t leave mouth ulcers unattended for more than three weeks
  • Don’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth
  • Regularly check your own mouth, lips, cheeks, head and neck for anything out of the ordinary.

Nicky continued: “The ‘flashmob floss’ is a fun way to shed some light on something that is seriously important, especially for people who drink alcohol or smoke, and get people talking about oral health.

“It’s our first time ‘flossing’ this way and we’re really excited about it and hope people who come along, whether to join us or watch, have a good time as well receiving some important information.”

Find out more about the Dental Nursing (FdSc) course at University of Northampton.

For more about Oral Cancer Action Month.

Email Jason Day with any enquiries, with ‘Flashmob’ in the subject line:

Notes to editors

From the Oral Health Foundation: In the UK, more than 8,300 people were diagnosed with mouth cancer last year and globally there are in excess of 300,000 new cases every year.

The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown by around a third in the last decade and remains one of very few cancers which are predicted to increase further in the coming years.

Although risk factors (such as smoking and alcohol) are responsible for many mouth cancers, it is a disease that can affect anyone.