We are passionate about oral health at the Junction Dental Practice and we have been involved in local initiatives during National Smile Month both this year and last year, supporting our local community.
Our aim is to educate children on the importance of visiting the dentist regularly, looking after your diet and regular tooth brushing.
This year we visited a local primary school and with the consent of parents and teachers we provided oral health education for pupils aged 5-6 years.
We did a fun-based lesson focusing on the importance of oral hygiene and diet, talking to 40 children and their teachers.
The children took part in disclosing and tooth brushing, with some children disclosing then brushing their teeth, whilst others dressed up as a dentist and they examined how well the first group of children had brushed their teeth.
They thoroughly enjoyed these activities, especially seeing their friends and classmates with purple teeth! And of course, we talked about the tooth fairy…
We asked the children to sing a song for the length of time it took to clean your teeth - row your boat needed 9 times for the required 3 minutes!
We had display tables with diagrams to show teeth anatomy and what decayed teeth look like, as well as models to practice brushing techniques.
We also did a display to show the amount of sugar in foods and drinks and some teeth that had been extracted, which we'd soaked in cola and milk to show levels of erosion. We also took along a partial and full denture and study models, so the children could get hands-on!
To reinforce our messages and to encourage children to ensure good oral health at home, we gave them all a free pack which included:
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Disclosing tablet
- 28-day challenge fun sheet for morning and night tooth brushing to fill in with the promise of a completion certificate, when handed back to the teachers
- Leaflet for parents/guardians on how to look after children's teeth
- Certificate of participation in lesson
All children and the staff enjoyed the experience and we've been asked to return next year - which we'd be delighted to do!
We are proud of the education we have provided to these children and their parents, and we hope to be able to continue to fund this for future visits and ensure better prevention for children's oral health.
Sharon Hartley, Practice manager
Junction Dental Practice
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