The British Dental Health Foundation report that approximately 8 children in every primary school class across the UK will have already developed a certain level of tooth decay. As these children get older, this proportion equates to roughly 3.3 million 0-14 year olds. This is an incredibly high, and indeed concerning, figure which highlights a real need to ensure that early years education and support is vital to enable children and young people to maintain good oral health. Your teeth are designed to last you a life time, and should be looked after from day one.
‘Dental Buddy’ is a scheme launched by the British Dental Health Foundation which aims to improve the oral health of children and young people in the UK. It was set up in response to concerning figures such as these. The scheme aims to develop links between dental practices and schools in their local area, so that health professionals and teachers can work together to develop education and promote healthy routines.
There are three core pieces of advice that underpin the programme:
The programme also offers an array of resources that can be used in a range of educational settings. These resources include interactive presentations, lesson plans and activity sheets, and there are numerous offerings to meet your age group: early years, key stage one and key stage two. What’s more, all of these resources are free to download and use.
With National Smile Month just round the corner, now is the perfect time to be thinking about ways that you can get involved and help to improve the oral health of children and young people. Why not let your child’s school know about the scheme? Or maybe you’re a teacher yourself, and looking for resources to help you cover this topic effectively. Don’t delay: visit www.dentalbuddy.org today to find out more information, access resources and take your first step towards being a Buddy.