YOUNGSTERS at a city school were all smiles when they took part in a week-long project to get their teeth in top shape.
Pupils at Sunningdale School, which caters for primary-aged children with special needs, took part in the Tooth Fairy Roadshow, run by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s oral health promotion team.
Throughout the autumn the roadshows will take place in special schools with the aim of involving parents, carers and staff, as well as the youngsters, in ways of improving oral health.
A dental care professional is available throughout the roadshow to apply a fluoride varnish for extra protection to the teeth of children who are more susceptible to tooth decay.
Joanne Purvis, the oral health promotion team’s manager, said it was important to address inequalities in dental health for children with special needs who can have particular problems with their teeth, which can lead to tooth decay.
She said: “Since our roadshows started in September, we have had some very positive feedback from teachers, parents and the children themselves and the take-up of the fluoride varnish has been fantastic.
“The children really seem to enjoy the activities, which include tasting healthy snacks and showing them the correct way to brush their teeth. In particular, they enjoy the chance to dress up to act out visiting the dentist.”
Celia Wright, headteacher at the school, said the children really enjoyed the experience and parents were able to get a lot of helpful hints about how to address the issues of cleaning teeth.
She said: “It was a very good event. For our children cleaning teeth can become a very big thing and it can be hard just getting them to accept a toothbrush in their mouths.
“It was a good way for them to become familiar with teeth cleaning and they had fun as well.”