Teeth Tools for Schools Oral Health Programme!
At Nettleworth Infant and Nursery School we are taking part in the “Teeth Tools for Schools” Oral Health Programme.
As you know this is a really special time in your child's life to introduce them to the importance of oral health and how to maintain a happy smile. This will help to instil lifelong oral health habits.
Throughout the year will providing the children with key information, learning opportunities and “real” dental experiences i.e. dental professionals, dental visits, dental resources…
About Teeth Tools For Schools
The Teeth Tools for Schools is a progressive programme which is split into year groups and we choose the activities appropriate for your child and deliver with enthusiasm (and a smile!) to ensure the greatest impact.
Oral health is an important factor for a healthy body.
The Importance of Healthy Mouths in Children
Having a healthy mouth is important to overall health and wellbeing. Children who have toothache or who need treatment may have pain, infections and difficulties with eating, sleeping and socialising. Oral health is therefore an important aspect of a child's overall health status and of their school readiness. Oral health is seen as a marker of wider health and social care issues including poor nutrition and obesity. Interventions that reduce sugar intake have the potential to impact both dental caries and for obesity because high intakes of free-sugar are known risk factors for both.
Schools have a statutory duty to promote the wellbeing of pupils in carrying out their functions. The new statutory health education curriculum can support schools with teaching pupils how to make good decisions about their own health including oral health and wellbeing.
Oral health has been included in the statutory Relationships and Sex education and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum from September 2020 and is a new requirement in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework from September 2021.
By the end of primary school, pupils should know the characteristics of poor diet and risks associated with unhealthy eating (including, obesity and tooth decay). In addition, they should also know about dental health including the benefits of good oral hygiene, flossing and regular check-ups at the dentist.
Why Oral Health is Included in the Curriculum?
This has been included because good oral health habits need to be formed from the earliest age. Tooth decay is largely preventable, but it’s still a serious problem among young children.
Nearly a quarter of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay, with 3 or 4 teeth affected on average. Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures for children under 6 in hospital. Extraction is also the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 6 to 10. Children from more deprived backgrounds are more likely to have tooth decay.
Children who have toothache, or need treatment, may have pain or infections. This can have a wider effect and lead to problems eating, sleeping, socialising and learning.
Promoting Oral Health
Promoting oral health at Nettleworth is very important to us, we promote self-care, healthy eating and physical development.
We are playful with children about oral health, we have giant teeth, toothbrushes and mirrors in each Foundation Class and suggest the children practise brushing the teeth of dolls or soft toys and get them to look at their own and each other’s teeth, using big mirrors. We share stories about teeth and smiles and visiting the dentist. During the day we also talk about healthy food and drinks that help to grow strong teeth, and those that do not.
A parents/carers you can also support children’s awareness of oral health by:
* Visiting dentists or having them visit with you
* Provide age appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste
* Demonstrating and supporting toothbrushing routines at home
* Encourage toothbrushing twice a day
* Be positive!
Risk Factors for Tooth Decay
Tooth decay results from the destruction of the hard tissues of the tooth by acids produced in the mouth when bacteria in dental plaque metabolises dietary sugars. Repeated and prolonged acid attacks will eventually cause the tooth surface to weaken and a hole or cavity will form which may lead to pain and infection.
The risk of tooth decay increases as a child’s diet starts to include foods and drinks other than breast milk or formula, depending on the free sugar content.
Every child who has teeth is at risk of tooth decay, but the risk increases for those living in the more deprived areas where the imbalance in income, education, employment and neighbourhood circumstances affect the life chances of children’s development.
Children are more at risk of developing tooth decay if they are:
* Eating a poor diet
* Brushing their teeth less than twice per day with fluoride toothpaste
* From deprived backgrounds
Poor oral health may contribute to...
*Infections from the mouth can also affect general well being.
* Oral bacteria may enter the bloodstream and cause widespread infection.
*Behaviour and Communication
*A painful mouth can be debilitating and upsetting.
*Mouth pain can affect mood and behaviour.
*Poor oral health can affect self confidence and communication i.e. smiling, kissing and speaking.
*A painful mouth prevents the consumption and enjoyment of certain food and drinks.
*Restricts choice of food and drink.
*Low nutrient intake may affect growth, development and healing processes.
There is a wide variety of toothbrushes available. Toothbrushing should be supervised by an adult until the child reaches the age of 7 years. Please note an adult should still supervise children’s toothbrushing until they are competent and effective at toothbrushing.
Brushing is more effective with:
*A small headed toothbrush.
*With soft round ended filaments.
*With a comfortable handle.
There is a wide variety of toothpastes available; the important factor to remember is the fluoride content. The fluoride works to prevent dental caries. Delivering Better Oral Health (DH 2009) states that children require a toothpaste containing:
* Up to 3 years = a smear of toothpaste no less than 1000ppm Fluoride.
*3 - 6yrs = 1,350 -1,500ppm Fluoride toothpaste.
*7yrs+ = 1,350ppm Fluoride toothpaste or above.
A dentist may prescribe additional fluoride products (i.e. mouthwashes, higher concentrated toothpaste) to some children if they are highlighted as being at an increased risk of developing caries. Toothbrushing techniques It is important for children to become acclimatised to toothbrushing from an early age to establish a good oral health routine. This will discourage problems at a later age. Teeth and gums should be cleaned at least twice a day. The most important time for toothbrushing is last thing at night. After brushing encourage children to spit out excess toothpaste and not to rinse mouth with water or mouth wash (“Spit don’t rinse”), as this allows the fluoride to continue to protect the teeth. Disclosing tablets can be used to highlight plaque and therefore make effective toothbrushing easier.
Toothbrushing Song -
We have learnt the toothbrushing song throughout school.