Tooth decay is a very common disease affecting one-third of young people aged 12-15 years, increasing to nearly one-half in young people living in areas of poverty.
Young people with tooth decay often complain of toothache, loss of sleep and problems eating — which can impact on their overall physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as increasing school absences.
Tooth decay, in most cases, can be prevented when children are motivated to improve their oral hygiene and snack options.
A number of Wiltshire Healthy Schools have sucessfully increased the number of students brushing their teeth twice a day.
New oral health lessons
This new lesson pack on oral health for secondary schools has been developed by a collaboration led by Prof. Zoe Marshman, Professor and Honorary Consultant of Dental Public Health at the University of Sheffield (July 2023).
The resources have been awarded a Quality Mark from the PHSE Association and are available for teachers to access and download to share with Key Stage 3 students.
Early Years support
Supervised Tooth Brushing
A Supervised Toothbrushing scheme is coming to Wiltshire as part of a NHS England commissioned rollout across the South West, which will be delivered by the provider At Home Dental.
Tooth decay is the most common reason for hospital admission for young children, and this is largely preventable. In 2022, 60,000 school days were missed due to tooth extractions and 1 in 5 children aged 3-5 in England experienced tooth decay. Tooth decay in children most often leads to fillings, replacement fillings, root canal work, extractions and a lifetime of dental problems.
The Supervised Toothbrushing scheme helps tackle this problem by promoting oral health in educational settings and equipping teaching staff to carry out daily toothbrushing sessions from within the classroom.
The programme is designed to be:
- Simple – taking no more than two to five minutes a day, with all kit provided
- Effective – giving children the vital protection of fluoride at a crucial age
- Potentially life-changing – saving children from a lifetime of dental problems.
Every participating school will receive all the support, training and stock needed from At Home Dental. This includes racks to store the toothbrushes (they are wall mountable if needed), a new toothbrush for each child every term, toothpaste and a pack for children to take home with brush and toothpaste.
In the South West, the scheme is initially rolling out for schools within IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation) 1-6 for children aged 3 to 5 years. If a school has a preschool/nursery, they will offer to them and the Reception class. If a school does not have a preschool or nursery, they will offer to Reception and Year 1.
Eligible schools will soon be contacted by At Home Dental’s Big Brush Club and we would encourage you to please support the scheme at your school and encourage parental consent for eligible children to take part.
Oral Health Promotion Team
The Oral Health Promotion Team is currently going through a transitional period, so we are very sorry that we cannot deliver virtual, or face to face sessions to schools or the Happy Smiles Award.
Here are some suggestions for lesson planning. We have designed and produced work books for all Key Stages which correspond to these lessons:
Key Stage 1
Puppets or stories with interactive resources, which introduce tooth brushing, diet and dental visits in a fun and interactive way.
Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4)
A session looking at teeth and their functions, charting teeth, diet and tooth decay finishing with a quiz and prizes.
Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6)
The process of decay, diet, reading food labels, recognising sugar contained in products. At the end of the session the students will have compiled a work book containing all the information.
Oral Health E- Learning Training Pack for Teachers
The Oral Health Promotion Team have produced training resources designed to give teachers some evidence based oral health information that will help to support oral health sessions or projects within the classroom.
If you would like a teacher training pack, send a request via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like further information, please contact
The Oral Health Promotion Team