Dental health added to curriculum materials for primary and secondary schools

Dental education has been added to the curriculum for primary and secondary schoolsInformation on dental health has been added to the teacher training materials for primary and secondary schools.

In new information to help school leaders plan and implement the new statutory curriculum, the government is including dental health as essential learning.

Falling under ‘physical health and mental wellbeing’, the module aims to provide students with the necessary information needed to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing.

It also states ‘it is important that pupils understand that good physical health contributes to good mental wellbeing, and vice versa’.

Key learning in curriculum

Dental health has been added as key learning. This is alongside other areas such as sun safety, sleep, personal hygiene, allergies and signs of physical health.

Important points of learning for primary school students include:

  • Benefits of good oral hygiene, including looking after both primary and permanent teeth
  • Importance of brushing twice a day, spitting and not rinsing, flossing and using fluoride toothpaste
  • Finally, the benefits of regular dental check ups. For example, that dentists spot signs of decay, help to repair teeth, and advise on how to reduce sugar consumption and improve toothbrushing.

Important points of learning for secondary school students include:

  • Reiterating the primary school information
  • Explaining tooth decay, gum disease and what causes poor oral hygiene
  • How to prevent plaque building up and what happens when it does
  • Flossing and interdental cleaning
  • Finally, information regarding sugar and dental health. For example, the main causes of tooth decay and that even the best oral hygiene cannot completely counter the impact of too much sugar.

More important than ever

This comes as BAFTA award-winning TV presenter Dr Ranj urges parents to get their children’s teeth checked by the age of one. 

He believes it is crucial that the country receives the right information when it comes to good oral health.

Additionally, he said this is ‘more important now than ever’ given the changes taking place in children’s diets.

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