Children’s oral health remains a major concern in modern society. The figures speak for themselves:
It’s important that the dental profession does what it can to help tackle these this alarming trend. The First Smiles campaign by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is designed to encourage the whole team to get involved.
On Friday 15th June 2018, the BSDHT will run First Smiles 2018 – sponsored by Oral-B and Brushlink – to help dental teams engage with their local communities and raise awareness of the importance of oral health among the younger generation. We lay down the gauntlet to you and ask you to go into your local schools and nurseries to deliver oral health education and teach young people (as well as their parents, guardians and teachers) how to better care for their dental and general well being.
First Smiles aims to:
Over to you
Whether you decide to teach children about brushing techniques, design games to highlight the importance of dental health routines for long-term health or talk about the dangers of sugar, your contribution could make a huge difference to the lives of the children you see.
Step 1: Download our Introduction to First Smiles for all the info
Step 2: Read our FAQs to answer any queries you might have
Step 3: Allocate time on the 15th June 2018 (or a more convenient day around this time) to visit your group of children
Step 4: Download our template letters for schools or community teams dental teams to send to your local organisation of choice
Step 6: Take a look at Dental Buddy/BrushTime for resources
Step 5: Design a proposal of what you’d like to do and discuss with your chosen partner
Step 6: Let the BSDHT know how many Oral-B toothbrushes and toothpastes you’ll need. There will also be a limited number of Brushlink devices available on a first-come, first-serve basis – and don’t forget to download the Dental Buddy information too.
Step 7: Run a Brushlink Challenge - further information about this will be provided shortly
Step 8: Have a great time getting to know the local kids and making a difference to their dental and general health for years to come
Once you have done all this, please contact us by filling out the short form below about your First Smiles school visit. We’ll send you an Oral-B
toothbrush/Toothpaste for each child and a Brushlink device for you (limited numbers available on a first come first served basis) and our
team will be able to work with you to attract local media and press coverage for your practice.
Participants from last year share their amazing experiences:
“The First Smiles day was super and we all had a great time. The kids dressed up in gloves and masks, we talked about looking after our teeth, visiting the dentist and sugars in food.” – Kate Paddock
“It all went really well and we really enjoyed our visit to the nursery. We tried to make it as enjoyable and interactive as possible. We did role play and got each child to have a go at brushing – this was a great success.” – Anita Hirani
“The feedback I had from parents was lovely and some of the children that hadn’t been to the dentist before were asking their parents to take them – in fact the children were really enthusiastic and very motivated. This is a fantastic opportunity for our dental profession to get out there and keep our kids smiling.” – Joanne Martin
[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 [Accessed February 2018]
[ii] Public Health England. Public health profiles. https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/search/tooth#page/9/gid/1/pat/6/par/E12000004/ati/102/are/E06000015/iid/92441/age/34/sex/4 [Accessed February 2018]
PLEASE NOTE: We require a minimum of 4 weeks notice in order to fulfil any requests for free toothbrushes. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS MIDDAY THURS 17th May 2018. Samples are only available to Dental Hygienists/Dental Therapists.