February is Children’s Dental Health Month. It’s a month when many dental professionals usually go to elementary schools promoting dental health. Many children are continuing school classes from the safety of their home. Families are continuing to navigate the day to day activities according to their own communities. It’s always amazing to see children get excited about the presence of a tooth fairy or dental health educator at their school. It may not be the same as it has been in the past, however celebrating Children’s Dental Health should continue.
Colgate has been supporting children’s dental education since 1991 with their Bright Smiles Bright Future (BSBF) initiative. The curriculum is designed to help teach brushing and develop healthy habits with games and activities. The multi-cultural dental education materials are available online and in 30 languages.
Children have become very familiar with virtual school and online programs. It may not be the optimal situation for all families, however they are doing their best to make it work. Many schools have had to get creative with online programs and how to balance classroom and online attendance. Children’s dental health education can still have a place in this environment. It’s important we get creative as well. Many offices partner year after year with schools supporting them. They make appearances in classrooms and grade levels as a whole. It’s time for our offices to get creative as well, so that we can also continue this learning experience.
The BSBF curriculum is broken down into age groups and for different groups of people on a given instructional level. There are games, coloring pages, videos and many other resources available.
There are so many ways to get creative when preparing a virtual dental learning experience, and for the dental team involved in making it a great experience for kids.
- Make a video with a tooth fairy reading to a class.
- Go online to the BSBF website and link educational videos and supporting curriculum to match the age -appropriate group you are teaching to.
- Talk to the school about any take-home items. Coordinate with the teachers and administration about providing new toothbrushes for the kids.
Organizing a plan for the school and students could be a great change for many of the teachers and children! It gives kids something fun to coordinate with their daily school activities.
BSBF also offers many resources for parents. Giving parents additional resources may be beneficial in reaching out to other children in their home. An entire group of resources is available for families to use at home. There are fun songs and games to get the family involved in helping children develop and keep healthy habits.
- Partner with a school in helping to develop a virtual program for their school.
- Use the BSBF site and provide links for teachers, dental professionals and for families.
- Get creative in bringing dental health information into the classroom and home!
Virtual learning can be still be fun and interactive. Using this opportunity to get kids excited about their dental health, and getting families involved through the school, can encourage better daily oral health and bring the excitement kids are used to seeing every February!