This blog topic is in response to a number of interested groups asking for tips. I am going to be entirely transparent and state now that much of the advice and tips contained here have been borrowed from the fantastic mine of information and advice that is The Oral Health Foundation https://www.dentalhealth.org.
In particular, their website features a section called Brush Time which provides everything you need to set up and run a group brushing session, teaching young children what they really need to know. They also include a raft of great ideas such as songs to sing (to the tunes of well known nursery songs) and links to accessories that can be purchased at reasonable prices. As a charity, the sale of these items supports the important work they do.
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to educational groups. The advice is useful for any parent or carer wanting to provide sound oral hygiene instruction.
Brush Time in short
As a Quick-Read Summary, this is what is provided at http://www.dentalbuddy.org/brushtime
- Toothpaste – guide on how much to use
- Toothbrush guide
- How to brush teeth effectively
- Daily routine guidance
- Toothbrush storage and cleaning procedures
- How to run a group brushing session
- Tooth brushing songs
- Resources available e.g. toothbrushes, huge sand timer, reward stickers etc
- Sample parent permission letters
Another of their sites www.dentalbuddy.org provides free educational units for those age groups.
So for each of Early Years (years 0-5), Key Stage One (years 5-7) and Key Stage Two (years 7-11) you will find appropriate Power Point presentations (Early Years example is shown in the image) and 1, 2 or 3 lessons plans and worksheets.
These basically provide everything needed for anybody to deliver oral health education in a classroom environment.
For access to either of these site resources, you will need to register your details with The Oral Health Foundation (you’ll see this when you follow the links), then you will be able to download all the content.
You can make a difference
Amanda Oakey, Director of Educational Resources at the Oral Health Foundation, highlights the important role educators can play in helping children to develop good tooth brushing habits from an early age.
Ms Oakey says: “Over the last twenty years children’s oral health has generally improved, but the levels of dental decay in the first and second teeth it is still a major problem.
“A recent study of twelve year olds in England and Wales found that on average 38 per cent of 12 year olds had dental decay; this is a huge amount and is something which can quite easily be prevented with a comprehensive tooth brushing programme taught throughout schools and nurseries.
“Educators play a key role in all areas of children’s development as they are a trusted and familiar figure for them to learn and develop important behaviour from. They therefore can make a real difference when it comes to nurturing children’s tooth brushing habits and improving their dental lifelong health.”