Health bosses’ dental DVD is a class act

A dental advice DVD for schools has won health bosses recognition in its drive to improve oral health among children.

Smile with Confidence proved a winner for NHS Lanarkshire, in Scotland, whose oral health team scooped the Patron’s Prize at the 2009 annual conference of the National Oral Health Promotion Group for their innovative film.

The educational film and accompanying teaching materials were designed and produced by the health promotion team alongside local schools – with local pupils also starring in the DVD.

The educational DVD and its accompanying teaching materials aim to teach children the importance of looking after their teeth.

The plan is to incorporate it into the school curriculum as soon as possible.

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Albert Yeung (above), consultant in dental public health for Lanarkshire said that the campaign will have an important role to play.

He says: ‘Smile with Confidence will help promote good oral health for both pupils and teachers.
In addition to increasing knowledge and awareness of good oral hygiene, and how to prevent dental decay, the resource aims to change the school environment in terms of oral health and nutrition.

‘It’s easy to use and will help support school staff to improve knowledge, strengthen beliefs and change attitudes to oral health.’

Celia Watt, senior health promotion officer (oral health) for the county, adds: ‘This new resource will help promote the message of how important it is to look after your mouth.

‘By working with local schools, we identified gaps in oral health knowledge, therefore we’re confident it meets the needs of the pupils.

‘We carried out a pilot with nine schools in Lanarkshire and the feedback from both the pupils and teachers was very positive. The pupils enjoyed learning about keeping their mouths healthy.

‘This pilot also showed that Smile with Confidence is an effective tool to promote the improvement of oral health.’

The Smile with Confidence DVD and teaching materials will now be distributed to all schools in north and south Lanarkshire.

Special needs centres will also be given a Makaton – a method of communication using signs and symbols – version of the DVD.

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