08 Jun 2017

As part of National Smile Month, West Gate School in Glenfield, Leicestershire, received a very special visit from the Society of British Dental Nurses (SBDN) who treated pupils and staff, to two extraordinary assemblies to show them the importance of maintaining a healthy smile.

Fiona Ellwood and Lisa Chamberlain from the SBDN designed and delivered two amazing assemblies for both primary and secondary children at the school, all of which have differing levels of special needs

The wonderful children of West Gate School were a credit to their school as they all listened intently as Fiona and Lisa got them to take part in activities and discussions about the importance of looking after their oral health.

The children, ranging from 4-19 years of age, have a huge range of needs; from moderate to severe learning difficulties, autism spectrum conditions, profound and multiple learning difficulties and highly complex needs.

This meant that the assemblies had to be planned and delivered in a way which would ensure important oral health messages had the maximum impact across their whole complex spectrum of needs.

Providing oral health care and lessons to children with this vast array of needs can often face difficulties due to differing the rates of learning of individual children. But it is vital that they can understand the importance of looking after their own oral health so they can gain some independence in regards to looking after themselves throughout their life.

Due to this, the SBDN worked closely with teachers from West Gate School and the Oral Health Foundation to ensure children were given the best possible advice, delivered in a fun and accessible way that the children would get the most benefit from.

The children were delighted to receive this extra special assembly and keenly took part in brushing demonstrations and two-minute timed brushing competitions.

They children were also in fine voice as they exuberantly sang along to songs which helped them learn about exactly how they should be brushing their teeth and the importance of looking after their smiles.

Pupils and learnt valuable lessons about diet and its impact on oral health and the importance of regular visit to the dentist. The SBDN, teachers and Oral Health Foundation are certain that many of the children will be able to take what they have learned in these fantastic assemblies with them into their adult lives.

As a special parting present, the children were each given a Smiley, the symbol of National Smile Month.  They were also given colouring sheets, oral health brush bugs and leaflets to take home to their parents so they can continue to look after their smiles, as well as their friends, families and carers at home.

Staff from West Gate School would like to extent their gratitude and thanks to Fiona and Lisa as well as the rest of the SBDN and the Oral Health Foundation for organising these exceptional assemblies for their wonderful students.