This Year's Dental Hygiene Day
Recently we welcomed two dental students who gave us a wonderful presentation about dental hygiene. They taught us about everything from how teeth grow to how to recognise when we need a new toothbrush.
The children brought their own toothbrushes and had training from the experts on how to get the best out of the brushes and, of course, their teeth!
With a slideshow, models of teeth and brushes and a lot of one-to-one help, they showed the children how to hold the brushes and be sure that they were using them most effectively. They showed us what to look for in the mirror to be sure that we have not missed anything and how to use interdental brushes and floss.
It wasn’t just about cleaning teeth, either. They taught us about healthy foods to help keep not just our teeth healthy, but the rest of us as well. Of course, teeth are part of who we are as well. When we smile, healthy teeth look better than unhealthy ones. Decayed teeth and bad breath can be very anti-social in some cases and in children, may lead to them becoming socially isolated.
As a warning of the perils of poor dental hygiene, we also saw a lot of pictures of what happens when we don’t clean our teeth properly – the gum disease and cavities – which brings us to why we have the dental hygiene visits in the first place.
Why do we have Dental Hygiene Day?
All the children have their own toothbrush and toothpaste at school and they brush their teeth after lunch every day. However, the teachers can’t check every child, so Dental Hygiene Day means that every child is shown how to do it properly by a professional.
Dental hygiene also contributes to the health of our whole body. Apart from tooth decay and gum disease, our mouths can provide a great platform for bacteria and infections to enter our wider system.
According to published studies of oral health, tooth decay is the most common non-communicable disease globally and affects 60 to 90% of children. Children who have health problems miss more school time which leads to poorer academic performance, so everything we can do to promote our health will help us generally.
Benefits of Dental Hygiene Day
Happily, oral health among children is improving every year. With the help of dental professionals visiting our school, we can play our part in making sure this trend continues.
It also helps the teachers as well. We can spot when a child is not doing the job properly and correct them. This is useful when we go away, for example to School In Nature and they are away from their parents for the whole week.
So, with our fresh knowledge, we can keep our teeth healthy and our smiles bright as we live and learn.