It’s a overwhelming thought, but in elementary schools across the UK, around eight or nine children in each grade will have developed tooth decay by now. That corresponds to a quarter of a million children in each primary school year and around 3.3 million young people aged 0-14.
National Smile Month is the perfect opportunity to put oral health back on the agenda and provide valuable oral health education.
If you are a dentist or healthcare professional, schedule a visit to a local school during National Smile Month. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in the campaign and a long-term partnership with nearby schools would certainly benefit the children.
Every year we have around 1,000 schools, from Early Education through Key Level One to Key Level Two, that participate in National Smile Month. Visits to local dental offices and other health care facilities are a great way to get kids the right messages to take home and even into adulthood. It can be great fun too – there are so many things you can do.
If you’re a teacher reading this … schools who contact their local dental offices are generally pleasantly surprised at how willing they are to spend some of their time visiting the classroom. They often have a major impact on children’s attitudes towards the dentist.
Schools that work with parents and healthcare professionals play an important role in educating young people about healthy lifestyles, including their oral care. Introducing oral health into the school curriculum, especially in the first and second phases, should make a big difference.
School visits can be easy and effective. Resources are available to teach children about the basic messages to some of the more detailed ways they can improve their oral health.
Why not try it out ?!
- Contact your local school (s) and suggest a visit to your dental office during National Smile Month.
- Decide on the date and whether you will only attend one lesson or a whole morning or afternoon.
- Make up your mind what you are going to do. We have some great ideas below to get you started.
- Choose who goes to school and leads the class, and make sure their practice diary is blocked for this period.
Things You Can Do In The Classroom
- Question and answer session.
- Painting activities and word search.
Official sponsors of the National Smile Month