By Susan Braden
Tooth decay affects between 60 to 90% of teenagers and adults, according to the World Health Organization. Cheap dental education on proper oral hygiene should start early, and a group from the U.K. called Action for Sick Children may have found a way to make it fun.
The charity decided to use playtime as a method for introducing children to healthy habits. Their Dental Play Box program travels between schools, nurseries and clubs as a free service for young children and their caretakers. The project’s aim is to help kids discover and understand why maintaining oral health is so important, and it gives them an idea of what that might look like.
The box includes resources like toothbrushes, puppets and dentist costumes to teach kids basic oral health routines in a fun, cheap way. They can practice good brushing techniques and eliminate fear of the dentist all while interacting with their friends and playing with new toys. Since the service is free, it is very accessible, and schools can request the box with a simple email. The charity reports that feedback has been positive.
Many young people have experienced extractions of their baby teeth, which may traumatic and painful. It can also affect future trips to a cheap dentist and make kids more susceptible to oral disease later in life. Sometimes kids develop a fear of the dentist, and this program hopes to counteract their fears.
If a child grows accustomed to ignoring basic health techniques, he or she is not likely to start adding them to his or her hygiene routine later in life. Damaging baby teeth is one thing, but permanent teeth do not grow replacements. Daily brushing and flossing, coupled with trips to a dentist for checkups and cleanings, can go great lengths in keeping decay from destroying the mouth. This cheap Dental Play Box method could be a start in reforming oral health for kids.