Getting messy to make kids smile

A team from Perfect 32 in Ladygate, which included a dentist, practice manager and dental nurse, filled the fun, educational afternoon with a presentation for more than 200 children.

The team joined children in their classrooms to host educational workshops, teaching them about good oral health, brushing instruction using disclosing tablets and an oversized set of teeth and running a ‘bug making’ competition. They also handed out National Smile Month goodies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, erasers, bookmarks, balloons, stickers and Smileys, oversized smiles on a stick.

The national campaign is focusing on putting the smile back on peoples’ faces and helping them display their personalities with the ‘Smiley’ campaign – the theme for this year’s National Smile Month.

The children blew up clinical gloves and decorated them as plaque bugs and then had fun ‘zapping’ them using the end of a disposable toothbrush. The children also dressed up as dentists in masks and goggles and tried out their skills brushing the oversized teeth.

Perfect 32’s practice manager, Nicki Rowland, said she and her team had thoroughly enjoyed working with the children and helping to alleviate inherent fears of the dentist.

She said: 'We were delighted to get involved in National Smile Month and our educational event got everyone smiling. We hope the children had a great time learning about good oral hygiene and how it can have a direct impact on their general wellbeing. The Smiley theme really appealed with the children. Children’s oral health can directly influence their ability to learn. According to research, oral health problems can lead to pain, absence from and inability to concentrate at school, failure to thrive and reduced self-esteem.

'The dental team emphasised the “Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste” message which is easy to remember and encourages children to develop a good routine of dental care. The brushing instruction using disclosing tablets was very messy but great fun!'

National Smile Month, which is now into its 37th year, is the brainchild of the British Dental Health Foundation.

Chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, paid tribute to Perfect 32 for getting involved.

He said: 'We are delighted that Perfect 32 has joined the many dental practices, schools, health professionals and community groups promoting good oral healthcare under the umbrella of our National Smile Month campaign.

'A good oral healthcare routine can help guard against all sorts of oral and general health conditions from bad breath and decay to gum disease, which has been linked to a number of more serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and strokes. By promoting good oral healthcare in a fun and imaginative way, we hope to persuade more people of the importance of taking care of their teeth.”

For more information on National Smile Month, visit


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