Each year at Today’s Dentistry, we get involved in our community by presenting educational dental healthcare talks at some of the childcare centres and primary schools in the north Brisbane area.
2016 was no different and our ‘dental teacher’ Bronwyn along with her helper, a cuddly blue dragon called Norbit, visited childcare centres at Bald Hills and Wavell Heights followed by four classes of Year 2 students at the local Aspley State School.
The primary focus of our talks is to engage with children and help them understand basic dental healthcare through interactive learning and lots of fun.
At the childcare centres, Bronwyn talked to the kindy children about dental basics using games, storytelling and Norbit as the patient. They learnt about going to the dentist, what they might see and do there, ‘everyday’ foods vs ‘sometimes’ foods, and ways they could look after their own teeth at home.
At Aspley State School, the Year 2 talks were more like an open discussion with lots of questions being asked by the children and stories being told. “The children were the perfect age to take on important points of oral health through interactive discussion,” says Bronwyn.
“I asked the children to role-play with dental floss – four children were involved, with two standing side by side representing ‘teeth’, while the other two children stood one in front and one behind them, holding a long piece of floss.
“They showed each other that flossing isn’t just about going in and out, but that the floss needs to be dragged down each side of the teeth. This got a lot of giggles, as at times the floss got caught on their clothing and arms. The important thing is that the message was received!” she says.
At our children’s dental health seminar earlier in 2016, our oral health therapists used a sugar experiment to show parents how much of the sweet stuff is contained in their kids favourite drinks.
Taking this into our educational dental healthcare talks, the children learnt how much sugar is in a can of soft drink, a poppa juice and a small carton of flavoured milk. They did this by tipping out sugar – equal to the content in each drink – into a mound on a plate. “There were a lot of surprised oohs and ahhs,” says Bronwyn. “It was a simple yet effective way to make the children aware of the sugar content of these drinks and the benefit of opting for water.”