Dental school brushes up for kids

Youngsters on the holiday – courtesy of national children’s charity CHICKS – learnt how best to care for their teeth thanks to Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Wrigley.

Sixteen youngsters from around the UK visited the CHICKS retreat at Brentor near Tavistock in Devon.

During their stay, they enjoyed a visit from staff and students at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

The visit, called 'Smile Please!', included a number of fun activities: an opportunity for the children to document their ‘smiley’ moments; a lesson in proper hand washing, including using a UV light to see if any areas had been missed; dressing up as a dentist and using a mobile simulation head to look in the mouth, see how to best clean teeth, controlling infection and looking at the different jobs a dentist does; and using a temporary dye tablet to see which parts of each child’s teeth need cleaning, and how to clean them properly.

Each child was also given an oral health pack from Wrigley to take away.

Robert Witton, director of social engagement and community-based dentistry, said: 'We are delighted to have been able to work with CHICKS and Wrigley on this project. Our task was to come up with a fun programme of activities which the children would enjoy and learn from, and it certainly seems to have gone down well with the youngsters. This is part of our community activity, which aims to bring oral health knowledge, advice and treatment to sectors of the community that may not be as best served for dental health resources.'

Jenny Venning, business development manager at CHICKS, said: 'We are so grateful to have the support of Wrigley and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry to enhance the respite breaks we provide for disadvantaged children across the UK. Whilst with us the children enjoy many fun new activities and leave CHICKS with greater aspirations having tried and achieved new things. The dental sessions really support this and the children thoroughly enjoy the sessions where they are able to learn in really a relaxed, fun way, what’s involved in dentistry and the importance of dental health care. We think it’s a fantastic partnership and are very grateful for their support.'

Lauren Kleinstuber, consumer and corporate affairs coordinator at Wrigley, said: 'CHICKS has been our charity of choice for many years and so it’s fantastic to now be working with the dental school to provide fun workshops on the camps that we sponsor. The workshop has proved really popular and helps to educate the children on the importance of a good oral healthcare routine.'

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