National Smile Month is almost upon us (starting the 14th May), so what better time to put oral health at the top of your agenda? In this weeks blog we explore a range of oral health promotion ideas you can do in your early years setting!
Why is oral health important?
Oral health has improved significantly since the 1970’s due to more awareness on the importance of looking after our teeth and the wider availability of fluoride. Unfortunately dental decay rates among children are still of great concern. The average child experiencing decay, has 3 decayed teeth. Worryingly, dental decay is the main cause of hospital admissions in children aged 5-9 years.
‘Good oral health enables an individual to eat, speak and socialise without active disease,
discomfort or embarrassment’.
The World Health Organisation
‘When children are not healthy, this affects their ability to learn, thrive and develop. Good oral health can contribute to “school readiness’.
Department of Health
What is Nation Smile Month?
National Smile Month is the UK’s largest, longest-running campaign promoting good oral health. This year, National Smile Month will run from Monday the 14th May 2018 to Thursday the 14th June 2018. Organised by oral health charity, the Oral Health Foundation, the campaign hopes to raise awareness of important health issues, and make a positive difference to the oral health of millions. The campaign highlights three key messages, all of which go a long way in helping us all to develop and maintain a healthy mouth and teeth.
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
It’s competition time!
To help you promote National Smile Month we have 4 weekly challenges for your setting to take part in…
Week 1 – Display Board
Think you can create an eye catching- show stopping display board? We want to see your designs. There will be a prizes up for grabs for the best designs!
Week 2 – Brushing activity
During week 2 we’ll be encouraging you to do a practical teeth brushing session with the children in your setting. Teddies and dolls at the ready!
Week 3 – Drinks and Snacks activity
A great way of teaching both children and families about healthy snacks and drinks. Perhaps you’ll read a story about healthy teeth and drinks, maybe you’ll sing a song about water or you could promote the Change4Life Food Scanner app to parents.
Week 4 – Going to the dentist
During week 4 we want you to promote the importance of going to the dentist to all the families in your setting. Perhaps you’ll give them a list of the local dentists or do a fun activity with the children such as reading a story or role play.
Week 5 – Winners of our competition revealed!
Every week we’ll post information, ideas and free resource links to help you with each activity.
Don’t forget to tell us about what your setting are doing to promote #NationalSmileMonth by tagging us in your social media posts or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.