National Smile Month is the UK’s largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health. In 2017, the campaign will take place between 15 May and 15 June.
Children from St George’s Primary Academy in Stonehouse, Plymouth, helped to launch National Smile Month when they visited Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) to learn how to look after their teeth.
The year five pupils spent time in the clinics at PDSE’s Dental Education Facility (DEF) in Devonport, where they took part in hands-on oral health activities. These included scaling, fillings and finding out the sugar content of soft drinks.
The programme, delivered by PDSE’s Community Engagement Team, also promoted the wide range of career opportunities in dentistry.
The visit formed part of a series of six carried out by local schools in partnership with Millfields Inspired, a charity formed by the Millfields Trust to encourage young people to make informed choices about their futures.
Pupil Rebecca Howe, 10, said: “The trip was very fascinating and we learnt how people can get hurt by not looking after their teeth. It made me think about brushing my teeth more.”
St George’s governor and parent volunteer Emma Callicott said: “It was a lovely practical trip that the children found really interesting. They asked lots of questions and will follow up the topic back at school.”
Wendy Smith, of PDSE, said: “We are very grateful to St George’s for helping us to launch National Smile Month. With more and more children being hospitalised for tooth extraction under anaesthetic, it is vital that we spread the message about the importance of good oral health wherever and whenever we can.”
Josanne Stewart, of Millfields Inspired, said: “This was great opportunity to collaborate with the PDSE team to make a real difference within the neighbourhood of Stonehouse.”