The most successful way to encourage lifelong good oral health is to start teaching it as early as possible. So three of the Carbasse team recently dropped in at some local nurseries as part of the First Smiles campaign by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy.
Carbasse therapist Jo Downs and dental nurses Atlanta Armstrong and Ashleigh Whittaker visited local nurseries, Abbot House in Seasalter and Choo Choos in Whitstable. Our three oral health experts spoke to the children at the nurseries who are starting school this September, discussing which healthy snacks are good or bad for our teeth as well as the right and wrong ways to brush them.
All of the children were given a goody bag with a brushing chart, toothpaste, toothbrush, a certificate and a sticker. They were also invited to take part in a colouring competition to win an electric toothbrush and we received over 30 entries.
The visits were important because children’s oral health remains a major concern in today’s society. The alarming figures speak for themselves:
- Nearly 25% of 5-year-olds have tooth decay – 1 in 4 children start school with tooth decay[i]
- Each 5-year-old has tooth decay in an average of 3 to 4 teeth
- In the most deprived areas of England, 30% of 5-year-olds have tooth decay[ii]
- Tooth decay is the most common cause for hospital admissions for children aged 5 to 9-years-old, and the third most common reason for 10 to 14-year-olds[iii]
- Concerningly, these figures are showing no improvement
The First Smiles campaign is designed to encourage the whole dental practice team to get involved and all of us at Carbasse agree that it is important that the dental profession does everything it can to help tackle this worrying trend.
The recent nursery visits formed part of the long-term efforts by the Carbasse team to promote good oral health in our local community and we have been a BDA Good Practice member since 2012.
To learn more about The First Smiles campaign visit http://www.bsdht.org.uk/firstsmiles
[i] Public Health England. Guidance, Child oral health: applying all our health. Updated 4 August 2017. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-oral-health-applying-all-our-health/child-oral-health-applying-all-our-health
[ii] Public Health England. Public health profiles.