Fun and games... but with an important message

At Brush-Baby we know that education of early years’ oral care and good dental practice is the way to implement a step change for the next generation of children’s dental health. That’s why we’re proud to support the dental industry with educational initiatives.

Anna Middleton, London Hygienist, is a great advocate of Brush-Baby and tells us here about one of her latest initiatives.

Fun and games for First Smiles

To educate young children on the habits of good oral health and to mark this year’s First Smiles campaign, I recently visited Bow Lane Pre-School in South London with dentist Cindy Lan and Dental Therapist Victoria Wilson

Using goody bags including Brush-Baby toothbrushes, stickers, games and challenges, we helped the children understand how sugary foods and drinks significantly affect the condition of their teeth.

Tips on engagement

Simple introductions on our job roles, were followed by audience participation and fun games, which included:

  • Talking about their teeth and how they looked after them
  • Importance of toothbrushing skills
  • Good versus bad foods
  • Fun activity helping the Tooth Fairy find the good and bad teeth

Without a doubt, involving the children gave the best form of feedback. The look of excitement and the noise of engagement that came bellowing from their little mouths, was great to see!  It’s not the easiest of subjects to connect with children – that’s why we see so much decay –but our sole aim was to educate through fun, and on the evidence of what we saw, we’d been pretty successful!

Why were we doing it?

First Smiles, run by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, aims to help dental teams engage with their local communities and raise awareness of the importance of oral health among young people.

First Smiles aims to:

  • Build essential relationships between nurseries, schools and their local dental practices
  • Educate children and those who care for them about the fundamental aspects of good dental health
  • Improve the oral hygiene habits of children across the UK
  • Make children feel more comfortable about visiting a dental practice
  • Integrate oral hygiene within health education in schools
  • Tackle the worrying rise in tooth decay and extractions among children in the UK.

What it means to me

Nothing beats seeing children smile. The majority of my work is spent treating adults, so the opportunity to engage with young children was brilliant and it was so rewarding to see their enthusiasm to learn. I’d like to think we gave them the knowledge and skills to ensure their happy healthy smiles last a lifetime.

  1. British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy. First Smiles. Available online at: http://www.bsdht.org.uk/firstsmiles (Accessed July 2018).