Pupils from more than 16 schools across the North East were all smiles as a classroom with a difference arrived to tour the region to teach more than 1,400 children how they can maintain a happy, healthy mouth.
The launch of the mobile classroom tour was hosted by mydentist, the largest provider of NHS dentistry in the UK, started on Monday 30th October at St Gabriel’s day nursery in Heaton.
The tour was specifically created for the North East following high demand from schools and follows research which reveals that 30 per cent of children in the region will have dental decay by the age of five years old. i
Almost four per cent of children in the North East have teeth extracted because of tooth decayii. And last year, almost 500 children aged five to nine were admitted to hospital for multiple tooth extractions every weekiii making tooth decay one of the nation’s most common diseases amongst children.
mydentist area development manager for Tyne and Wear, Paul Mead, said: “Statistics show that 30 per cent of children didn’t see an NHS dentist between 2012 and 2014 and dental issues continue to be the main reason for children being admitted into hospital.iv In fact £30m was spent by the NHS on tooth extractions for under 18s during 2012 and 2013.v
“Our aim is to change this trend by raising awareness of the free dental care which is available to children on the NHS, including fluoride varnish which should be applied to children’s teeth twice a year from the age of three, and also by showing children that looking after your teeth is not only really important, but it can also be fun.
“And it really works. On average after we visit a school with our mobile dental classroom, appointments with children increase by 18 per centvi.”
During the tour pupils, aged from 2 to 10 years old, got the opportunity to identify which food and drinks were good for their oral health and which were not. Research by mydentist recently revealed that 20 per cent of parents believe fruit smoothies are good for their children’s teeth, despite most containing high levels of sugar as well as acid.vii
Paul Mead added: “We’ve been overwhelmed, and delighted, by the response our mobile dental classroom has received from schools in the North East.
“Our lessons were attended by children from across the region and each were given a special goody bag containing a two-minute tooth brush timer and The Little Book of Big Smiles so they can carry on maintaining their dental health outside the classroom.
“Our mobile classroom is touring the country and we couldn’t have received a more positive response to our journey to improve the UK’s dental health.”
mydentist is currently accepting patients across its practices in the North East. To find your local practice, click here
[i] The Faculty of Dental Surgery: The State of Children’s Oral Health in England, January 2015 (2012 / 2014)
[ii] The Faculty of Dental Surgery: The State of Children’s Oral Health in England, January 2015 (2012 / 2014)
[iii] Health and Social Care Information Centre (total number of extractions in 2014 is 25,812)
[iv] The Faculty of Dental Surgery: The State of Children’s Oral Health in England, January 2015 (2012 / 2014)
[v] The Faculty of Dental Surgery: The State of Children’s Oral Health in England, January 2015 (2012 / 2014)
[vii] mydentist commissioned research with 2,000 UK participants: 2015