What is the programme?
The charity works with young adults to present presentations to younger children, about the importance of oral hygiene as well as how you can ensure you are properly taking care of your teeth!
The Charity sends many resources such as teeth models, informative- child friendly- posters, fun booklets which include colouring and information on our teeth as well as children’s toothpaste and toothbrushes.
This is done in an extremely interactive and positive way to get younger children to participate, whilst learning along the way. The charity also allowed us to have flexibility in the way we presented, and allowed us to add our own creative twist to the experience!
This meant that Ionela and I, learnt ourselves from the experience as well as the children of course.
What did we do when we visited the primary school?
We went down to the St Mary’s and St Johns COFE primary school to demonstrate the importance of oral hygiene and did this by carefully planning a fun presentation!
We began by introducing ourselves in warm way to make the Year 1’s feel comfortable, then went on to ask them a few questions such as:
- What do we need teeth for?
- What would it be like if we didn’t have teeth?
The children were immediately interactive, and hands shot up! After this we went on to ask a volunteer to come up and we discussed the idea of plaque and what can cause it. This was an explanation for why oral hygiene is so important, and how we can easily tell ourselves whether we are brushing well enough by the roughness or smoothness of our teeth.
We rewarded the volunteers with the Brightbite stickers, which as you can imagine, students found extremely exciting.
We then went onto to use the Tooth model to explain the significance of our Biting Incisors, Canines, and Molars. This outline of the teeth is key because we used real examples to help the children understand how important our teeth are and why it’s so important to take care of them.
Next, we used the same tooth model to do a demonstration on brushing our teeth in small circles and not forgetting our back teeth or the insides. This became super fun, because we passed two teeth models and toothbrushes around and allowed the children to have a turn themselves- which they all did very well!
Finally, we asked children about their favourite healthy and unhealthy foods (loads of remarks about pizza as you can imagine) and what food they think is bad for our teeth. We then used the Brightbite posters to show them what we should eat less of and more of, to protect our teeth, as oral health massively times into our overall health in itself.
We ended the presentation by playing a song about brushing teeth, and handing out some booklets called ‘lets look after our teeth,’ as well as children’s toothpaste and toothbrushes supplied by the charity.
What did we gain from this experience?
Personally, this experience helped us develop our public speaking skills as well as communication. The children asked loads of questions which weren’t planned, so we had to use our own medical knowledge to try and answer these.
Presenting can be super daunting, but after the first ten minutes it felt like second nature, and I think that’s due to our preparation as well as the structure of the Brightbites programme itself.
All in all…
It was a really fun experience, and collaboration between Brampton and another school. We learnt as much as the kids did ourselves in terms of developing some of our own skills.
By Robincella Hanna, student