NDNA urges nurseries to educate children on oral health 

NDNA’s annual Healthy Body Happy Me campaign takes place this week, from 25 March – 29 March. The theme of this year’s campaign is oral health.

NDNA has been working in partnership with the British Dental Association (BDA) to create a range of resources to be used by nurseries to help educate children about oral health. This campaign is open to all nurseries, not just NDNA members. 

Oral health education is vital as tooth decay is the number one reason for hospital admissions among young children in the UK, this is despite it being almost completely avoidable. 

The UK recently ranked last in a poll on oral health promotion in schools. Over half (55%) of UK parents backed schools teaching good oral care. A total of 63% recognised that parents also play a role in their child’s oral health.

As part of the week long oral health campaign, nurseries are invited to take part in the big teeth brush on Wednesday 27 March at 9:30am. Children will brush their teeth in unison and promote good oral hygiene. However, nurseries can get involved in this activity at any point of the day to suit their plans. 

Children from Angel Place nursery in Edmonton took part in their own big teeth brush (right). The children enjoyed meeting with local dentist Sahar-Tara Aghababaie and representatives from the British Dental Association (BDA). The children enjoyed learning all about their teeth and how to take care of them. They also explored the dental equipment and showed off their own toothy smiles.

Each day of the campaign will bring new and exciting free resources for play, learning and fun, and to aid the development of children of all ages. Each of the daily guides surround different aspects of oral hygiene: 

  • Monday: Let’s look at the mouth
  • Tuesday: Let’s limit sugar!
  • Wednesday: All about brushing 
  • Thursday: Let’s talk about fluoride 
  • Friday: Let’s go to the dentist 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of NDNA, said: “Oral hygiene is extremely important and an essential lesson for young children. 

“Our Healthy Body Happy Me campaign is a fantastic opportunity for nurseries to access expert information and resources, and educate children whilst having lots of fun in the process. 

“We are thrilled to have worked with the BDA to create these fantastic resources and can’t wait for the campaign to begin next week. 

“We hope to see lots of nurseries taking part and even brushing their teeth with us on Wednesday. Share your photos and videos with us on social media.”

The BDA advocates that England should have their own resourced national oral health programme in early years settings and schools. Scotland and Wales both have their own national programmes.

BDA Health and Science Committee member and paediatric dental consultant, Abs Casaus, said: "The recent stats on the extent of tooth decay in kids under 5 were a stark reminder of why it's essential to reach out to children in nurseries and their carers to encourage good oral hygiene habits right from the start.
 
"The BDA is pleased to see the NDNA playing an active role in spreading this message and we were happy to help them with this.
 
"These resources would also be helpful for dental students and dentists when they are doing oral health promotion activities for young children."

Healthy Body Happy Me is sponsored by TTS and Consortium. 

Find out more information and download the resources at www.ndna.org.uk/healthy.