Healthy teeth lesson plans launched

on 25th April 2019

‘Keeping our teeth healthy’ lesson plans are now available from Public Health England as part of its Change4life campaign.

There are two plans, one aimed at five- to seven-year-olds and one for seven- to 11-year-olds. The presentations use a simple science experiment to introduce the idea of how sugary drinks can affect teeth.

‘With 23% of five-year-olds in England having decayed, missing or filled teeth, dental lesson plans have also been made available,’ a spokesperson for PHE said.

‘They include a science experiment to help children observe how sugar can affect teeth.

‘And learn about making better choices to stay healthy.’

For the experiment, children are encouraged to submerge egg shells in high sugar drinks and water or milk. After leaving them for a day, children can compare the egg shells to see what affect each drink has had. Pupils are then asked what they can do to help keep their teeth clean and create a dental health plan.

Advice given during the presentations includes:

Avoid sugary food and drinks. Remember they should be eaten less often and only at mealtimes

Brush your teeth twice a day (right before bed at night and one other time)

Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste

Spit, don’t rinse

Visit your dentist regularly.

Primary school children are also being taught to count using sugar cubes to help combat childhood obesity. Worksheets, created by Public Health England (PHE), will ask pupils to calculate how much sugar is in different foods. Children will then be asked whether this is more or less than the recommended daily amount of sugar.

‘Children are consuming too much sugar and obesity is a real threat to their health,’ Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said. ‘Educating them on the importance of a healthy balanced diet in their early years can help them avoid serious illness in future.’

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