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Little learners

We find out more about the pioneering Clean My Teeth campaign

In early 2013, a team of people consisting of the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) president, Bal Chana, BADT editorial panel member, Charlotte Wake, volunteer advocate, Barbara Koffman, and Dentaid advocate, Sarah Byrne, got together under one banner –the Clean My Teeth Campaign. This pioneering campaign was formulated by Ian and Andrea Aguado-Bush. The hope is that it will appeal to schools, parents, children and professionals alike.

Big aims
The aim of the campaign is to access all the children of school age and teach them how to clean their teeth properly, with the help of two books called How to Clean Your Teeth and What to Eat and Drink for Healthy Teeth. The books, along with the characters, were created by Ian and his colleague David Foreman, in an aim to help children understand how sugar is bad for their teeth and the importance of brushing teeth. The campaign has received a small amount of funding from a large toothbrush manufacturer, allowing a pilot to take place early next year. The Clean My Teeth team is going to try to make it a huge, national, public-facing campaign that allows parents to really get involved.
The campaign’s mission is to make improvements on the state of children’s oral health, firstly in the UK and then overseas, and the hope is that it will stop the need for future invasive treatment. The campaign has drawn a lot of attention and Dentaid has pledged their support and the team hopes to gain the support of local dental practices. ‘Team Clean My Teeth’ will make sure each professional, who wants to be involved and deliver one of its oral health lessons receives a lesson plan as a guideline and all the feedback forms they should require. These lessons will be very simple, short in duration and will cover toothbrushing and some simple advice about sugary foods. In return, the dental professional will have the opportunity to donate to Dentaid for verifiable CPD. The practice will be able to include its own literature in the packs to help market its business. The children will each receive a copy of both books, a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a two-minute timer and fun, oral health promotional material.

Rolling it out
The Clean My Teeth campaign’s founder Ian Aguado-Bush has given much time and effort to improving children’s oral health and is keen to thank people for their support. In July, Ian combined both his passion for drumming and oral health and arranged a world record-breaking 70-hour drummathon. He, and the other drummers involved, raised more than £4,000 for charities such as the British Dental Health Foundation, Bridge2Aid and Heart Your Smile. To do this he called in favours from the drumming community, from his university, the Academy of Contemporary Music, and was joined by Henry Schein’s vice president, Patrick Allen, and head of marketing, Kris Wagland.
The pilot for this campaign is due to start in January in London, Southampton or Portsmouth, with a view to rolling it out nationally during National Smile Month (19 May until 19 June 2014).

For more information on the Clean My Teeth campaign, or if you would like to volunteer to be involved, go to www.cleanmyteeth.co.uk.

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