​Children from Rooks Nest Academy in Wakefield were visited by St Michael’s Orthodontics, part of the PortmanDentex group, for a lesson all about the importance of looking after their teeth.

On May 20, 2024, practice manager Carol Walter, treatment coordinator Dawn Rimmington, and dental nurse Gail Ward delivered an oral health workshop for children as part of National Smile Month using Dental Buddy – an educational campaign created by the Oral Health Foundation.

The children from years five and six took part in a dental quiz and listened to a presentation about tooth brushing, tooth decay and different types of braces. They also received goody bags containing a toothbrush, disclosing tablets, a notepad and pencil and information leaflet on toothbrushing to take home.

Carol Walter said, “It was the perfect opportunity to talk to the children about what we do, the importance of coming for a check-up, and to help them really understand why it’s vital to adopt healthy habits when looking after their teeth.

“We know not all children have visited a dentist before or might be hesitant, so it was the ideal chance to show them it’s not a scary experience and teach them some basic skills to help reduce the likelihood of them developing tooth decay in baby or adult teeth.”

Dental Buddy is a classroom programme that helps instil the value of good oral hygiene from a young age. The educational programme is delivered in thousands of schools throughout the UK every year.

Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, added, “Over the 20 years, children's oral health has generally improved, but the levels of tooth decay in the first and second teeth is still a major problem.