It is a staggering thought, but in Primary Schools across the UK around eight or nine children in every class will have already developed tooth decay. That’s approaching a quarter of a million children in each primary school year and around 3.3 million young people aged 0-14 years.
National Smile Month is the perfect occasion to put oral health back on the classroom agenda and teach valuable oral health education.
If you’re a dental or health professionals, arrange a visit to a local school during National Smile Month. It is a wonderful way to participate in the campaign and forming a partnership with nearby schools in the long-run would definitely benefit the children.
Each year we have around 1,000 schools, from Early Years’ Education, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two get involved in National Smile Month. Visits from local dental practices and other health outlets is a great way to engage children in the correct messages they can take home and even into adulthood. It can also be extremely fun – there’s so many things you can do.
If you’re a teacher reading this… schools contacting their local dental practices are generally pleasantly surprised how willing they are to give up some of their time to visit the classroom. Often, they can have a profound effect on the attitude children will have towards the dentist.
Schools, working with parents and health professionals, have an important role to play in educating young people about healthy lifestyles, including their oral care. Introducing oral health into the school curriculum, especially at Key Stage One and Two, should make a big difference.
School visits can be simple and effective. Resources are available to educate children on the basic messages all the way up to some of the more detailed ways in which they can improve their oral health.
Why not give it a try?!
- Contact your local school/s and propose a visit from your dental practice during National Smile Month.
- Decide on the date and whether you are visiting for simply one lesson, or a whole morning or afternoon.
- Finalise what you are going to do. We have some great ideas below to get you started.
- Choose who will visit the school and run the lessons, making sure their practice diary is blocked out for that period.
Things you can do in the classroom
- Question and answer session.
- Colouring activities and wordsearches.
National Smile Month Official Sponsors