Mens Sheds

In 2019 the Dental Health Foundation delivered an oral health component of a community-based men’s health promotion programme 'Sheds for Life', to three Sheds in County Kildare.

It was a great opportunity for the Foundation to further its mission in promoting oral health in Ireland, by providing effective resources and interventions.

A hour-long structured talk/presentation was given in line with the requirement that the content and messaging be consistent and  that the resources provided were evidence-based. Ms Aoife Buggy, Dental Nurse, with the local HSE Dental Clinic delivered the presentation and was on hand for follow-up questions and answers.

It is generally known that men are less likely than women to take care of their overall health, including oral health, and that they tend to brush and floss their teeth less regularly.  Men also may avoid going to the dentist, and so our aim was to support and encourage men to be proactive in maintaining good oral health.

Topics covered:

What is Oral health? (more than a nice smile…) It is about taking good care of your mouth, teeth, gums, being free of pain, tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss.

A healthy mouth is crucial for general health and wellbeing.

Oral health & General Health have two-way relationship.

Impact on other aspects of life.

Oral diseases and Common Risk Factors with other diseases.

Why good oral health is important for all life stages.

Prevention - How to look after your oral health (healthy diet, smoking, alcohol, oral hygiene habits, dental check-ups etc).

Oral health and sports.

Oral health and medications.

This Shed's For Life Intervention took place over 10-weeks focusing on physical activity with a suite of other health related talks and workshops including; dental health, dietary knowledge, food preparation skills, mental health, CPR training, and other targeted elements identified by each individual Shed. The intervention included a health check (measurement of blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI) and a follow up health check at 12-months. Intervention components aligned with the HSE Healthy Ireland Framework and National Men’s Health Action Plan.

‘The IMSA has worked collaboratively with the Dental Health Foundation over the last two years to engage men on the topic of oral health. The Dental Health Foundation developed a male tailored oral health resource specifically for distribution to our men’s sheds around the country and provided outreach talks to the sheds. The development of gender specific resources and programmes has been identified as a key mechanism in engaging men to take care of their health. The partnership between our two organisations has been based on a vision of improving men’s health in Ireland and making a commitment to sustainable changes in the area.’

Ms Edel Byrne, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Irish Men’s Sheds Association: