Donegal dental nurse Eileen McGlinchey has been nominated for two dental awards!

Eileen McGlinchey

The Oral Health Awards aims to recognise excellence and endeavour in oral care in Ireland and the UK, and Eileen is nominated for the Best Children’s Care and Best Community Initiative awards.

She is the founder of Smiley Eileey’s Oral Health Promotions, and she visits preschools and national schools across Donegal to educate kids on how to keep their pearly whites nice and healthy.

Speaking to Donegal Woman, Eileen says that she is over the moon with the double nomination.

“I had been contacted by The Irish Dentistry Magazine, who asked me to do a feature, due to my oral health work with young children and of course my charity work to raise money for my local hospice but also to raise awareness of the importance of flossing to the Northwest.

“From that, another lady contacted me and advised me I would be an ideal candidate for the Oral Health awards and would I mind if she put me forward. I, of course, said yes. I then received a phone call weeks later to congratulate me that I had been shortlisted in two categories.”

Eileen will now attend the awards ceremony on the 17th of November at the lavish Royal Gardens Hotel in London.

“I am delighted to have been nominated. I love my job and love what I do, but it is wonderful to get recognition for all the hard work I put in.

“A lot of research and time goes into preparing content for workshops. The look of enjoyment from each child during my workshop is heartwarming, as they learn things about their teeth they never knew before makes it all worthwhile but of course, it is very gratifying to have been shortlisted for these awards.”

Eileen has been a dental nurse since 2011 after completing her degree in Oral Health Promotion.

The best part of the job, she says, is helping to improve patients’ self-confidence, and encouraging children to develop healthy dental habits.

“In my role as a dental nurse in Donegal Denture Clinic the most rewarding part is how happy the patients are once they receive their new smile. Old and ill-fitting dentures can affect a person’s appearance and their confidence.

“In my role as an oral health promoter, the most rewarding part is having children come up to you at the end of a workshop and thanking me so much for coming to their school.

“It would melt your heart as on numerous occasions they have given me a big hug.

“Parents also contact me via my social media to thank me for teaching their children the correct way to brush their teeth and why it is important.

“Another rewarding part of my job is advising parents on fun ways to encourage their children to brush their teeth, my new product, Toothfairy Patrol is one such product that I have developed to encourage kids to brush. Numerous parents have purchased such toothbrushes as the kidz sonic and informed my weeks later it was a total game changer.”

Earlier this year, Eileen launched an innovative fundraiser in aid of Donegal Hospice.

She came up with the idea to sell dental floss on a keyring to encourage children and adults alike to get into the habit of flossing, with the proceeds going towards charity.

During the Donegal Rally, she made sure the rally crews were looking after their gnashers between stages!

Eileen will be presenting a cheque to Donegal Hospice in the coming weeks, and says that the fundraising initiative was incredibly rewarding.

“I would like to thank everyone who has purchased/contributed to my most recent flossing fundraiser for our local Donegal Hospice, it proved to be a great success within the county while raising much-needed funds for the Donegal Hospice.

“Given the great success and feedback that I have received over the duration of this campaign, I am always happy help and support local charities. I look forward to working with local charities to raise much-needed funds in the near future.”