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.
At the Oral Health Foundation, we are dedicated to improving the oral health of young children in the UK. From brushing their first tooth, to their first trip to the dentist, a child's oral health plays a key part in their early year's wellbeing.
That's why we have created Dental Buddy.
The Dental Buddy programme hosts a series of educational resources for Early Years Education, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, including activity sheets, lesson plans and interactive presentations. All of which are freely downloadable from this site, to take into the classroom.
Ultimately, our aim is to increase children's oral health. Dental Buddy's messages for children are simple:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Have a balanced diet and learn the importance of cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Dental Buddy is about helping to forge important links between schools and local dental practices, building relationships between teachers and dental health professionals so that we can increase the amount of time which is spent teaching children about oral health.
Schools contacting their local dental practice 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 or dental hygienist.
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.
Become a Dental Buddy
We are asking dental and health professionals to teach oral health and hygiene in the classroom. Get in touch with a local school, download the free materials and resources available on www.dentalbuddy.org and become a Dental Buddy yourself - it's that simple!
Read more about 'Our Work': National Smile Month | Mouth Cancer Action Month | How to support us