Delivering oral health information in the education environment to parents and students can help inform families and prevent dental decay and oral disease.
This page offers resources for schools, nurseries, teachers, school nurses and parents to educate children and young people about their oral health.
The latest data from NHS England confirms,
“Tooth decay is still the most common reason for hospital admissions in the 6-10 year old age group”
Tooth decay can cause pain, infection, problems with eating, sleeping and concentration which may also present challenges in the classroom environment.
If a child experiences a “knocked out tooth” or “fractured tooth” at school it’s important for staff to know the best course of action.
Storage of the tooth: If the tooth has been knocked out store the tooth in milk as quickly as possible after the accident.
If the tooth has been fractured finding the chipped piece may be helpful to the dentist when the child attends for treatment.
The child’s parent/carer should be notified and the child should be taken to an emergency dental appointment as quickly as possible.
Consider if the child has sustained a head injury as this should be priotirised and the child should taken to hospital for an assessment.
Safe Snacks at School
When asking parents and carers to provide a snack for break time consider using our “Tooth Friendly Snack Menu”.
This aims to encourage snacking on savoury foods.
Regularly exposing the teeth to sweet foods as snacks can be harmful and cause holes in the teeth (tooth decay).
We recomend only water should be bought to school to drink through the day.
For KS2 Teachers!
Oral Health Lesson Plans (Produced by Barts and The London)
Helpful leaflets and resources
Linking with National Campaigns using school projects, assemblies and themed lessons is a good way to raise awareness among students and families.
Change 4 Life: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life
Smile Month: https://www.dentalhealth.org/national-smile-month
Sugar Smart: https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/sugar
Every Mind Matters: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/supporting-others/childrens-mental-health/
Want to learn more?
Access this free online 30 minute training session.
What to expect: This elearning programme provides information and advice about children’s oral health. It is aimed at parents, expectant mothers, early years healthcare workers, teachers, nurses, GPs and the public.
Oral health is an important part of every child’s wellbeing. It impacts on the ability for children to eat and sleep, to socialise with confidence and to concentrate at school. However, many children experience problems with their oral health. Tooth decay affects around a quarter of five-year olds in England (view document), and it is also the leading cause of hospital admissions for five to nine-year-olds by some distance. Many children who go to hospital because of tooth decay need to have teeth removed under general anaesthetic. This is despite the fact that tooth decay is almost entirely preventable.
This programme will help you to support the children you care for to maintain good oral health. It covers the main causes of tooth decay and simple actions that can be taken to prevent the problem. It also explains when a child’s primary (baby) and adult (permanent) teeth start to appear, and what you should do if a tooth is knocked out. By the end of the session users will have developed their knowledge of oral health and be more confident in providing children’s oral health advice.