First Smiles initiative is back for 2016
First Smiles is set to return on Friday 17 June, which will bring oral health education to children’s classrooms.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) members will go to schools and nurseries across the UK to educate children on the importance of good oral health and teach them the skills they need to maintain a healthy smile.
‘First Smiles launched last year to huge success,’ president of the BSDHT, Michaela ONeill, said.
‘Our members, as well as schools and nurseries across the UK, have really embraced this potentially life-changing initiative; we are really proud of what we have achieved so far but there is still so much more that we think we can achieve.
‘This year we want the programme to be bigger and better; we want your help to ensure important oral health messages reach many more children.
‘We really want to mobilise BSDHT members, the people on the frontline of dentistry, to use their unique skills and knowledge to make a difference to children’s oral health, so please help us and get involved.’
Nearly a third (31%) of five-year-olds and half (46%) of eight-year-olds show visible signs of decay, a government survey has shown.
It is for this reason the BSDHT has asked dental hygienists, dental hygienist-therapists and students who are BSDHT members to get involved, and Oral-B has provided toothbrushes and toothpaste samples to help the initiative.
‘This excellent initiative really helps to build a positive relationship between dental practices, nurseries and schools,’ dental hygienist and spokesperson for oral health charity the Oral Health Foundation, Mhari Coxon, said.
‘It enables everyone to dedicate more classroom time to teach children about the importance of good oral health and hygiene.
‘First Smiles can ensure early years and primary school children everywhere receive the right information, delivered in an easy-to-understand and enjoyable way, which can later be adopted at home by parents.’