All ages don the blue lips in the Uists

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Pupils from Iochdar Primary School in South Uist were more than happy to put on some blue lips to help raise awareness of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

So were Dr Bird and his staff from South Uist Medical Practice.

Lochboisdale Dental Practice staff have been doing some outreach as part of a programme of events for Mouth Cancer Action Month, being run alongside the British Dental Health Foundation.

Dental practices throughout the Western Isles are raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer, as well as the risk factors, throughout the month of November.

It is hoped that the national event will make a difference by saving lives through early detection and diagnosis.

One of its main aims is to alert patients to what to look out for.

Don’t leave that ulcer unattended for more than three weeks. Don’t ignore that unusual lump or swelling or red and white patches in the mouth.

Dental staff took the opportunity to do some awareness raising when they were at Iochdar Primary School to carry out fluoride varnishing for children under the Childsmile programme.

Morag MacKinnon, Dental Therapist and Oral Health Improvement Co-ordinator at Lochboisdale, said of the visit: “We took the opportunity to make teachers and staff aware of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. We also explained to the children that when they come to the dentist we check their teeth but also their lips, tongues and cheeks

“They were delighted to pose for us with their blue lips.”

Information packs have been put together, with information on recognising symptoms of mouth cancer, and staff at South Uist Medical Practice received some of these, as well as being made aware of the ‘cancer research oral cancer toolkit’ – an online resource.

And, of course, the blue lips keep appearing. Where staff are wearing them they will be encouraging their patients to do so as well. To raise awareness further, they are being encouraged to take a picture and hit social media, with the hashtag #bluelipselfie.

NHS Western Isles encourage anyone with any concerns about mouth cancer to contact their local dental practice.

Pupils at Iochdar Primary ‘delighted’ to raise awareness.