Next Generation of Bright Smiles Bright Futures Oral Health Education Resources for Students

Date: March 2021

Author: Natalie Bradley BDS Dip SCD MFDS RCSEd

Everyone should have a future to smile about. This is why Colgate's Bright Smiles Bright Futures exists. The initiatives that are part of this program give people around the world access to information that can educate and empower everyone to master their oral health care and have a functional, pleasing and pain-free smile!

Now, there is a new adventure free to view which will capture the imaginations of children, as well as delivering important oral health messages. It is titled The Adventures of the Molar System. This film, along with the accompanying resources such as posters, is useful for students in community outreach projects such as those going to school groups or children's clubs.

The materials incorporate digital elements for ease of communicating oral health messages, as well as classroom or dental practice tools such as posters, coloring props and fact sheets to help students provide an interactive classroom lesson or chairside oral health education appointment.

There are also helpful materials to link back to parents so that the oral health messages we deliver in classrooms and dental offices can be taken home. Children can color, listen to, watch, play, be quizzed, read and sing about oral health messages. There is an activity or resource for every child.

All the materials available convey 5 key messages in the prevention of oral disease, along with tips and other information around these:

1. Brush for Bright Smiles - Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste after breakfast and before bedtime removes plaque and bacteria that can cause cavities, and delivers fluoride to the tooth surface to help keep teeth strong.

2. Floss for Bright Smiles - Flossing cleans between teeth where tooth brushing doesn't reach and adults should assist children until they have developed the motor skills to floss, around eight years-of-age.

3. Regular dental check-ups - This should be at least every 6 months, sometimes more often to ensure good oral health is maintained and to deliver oral health messages

4. Eat for Healthy Teeth - Nutrition and oral care go hand-in-hand, so reducing sugar intake will reduce the risk of developing caries.

5. Keeping Smiles Safe - Tooth and mouth injuries can happen at school, on the playground, in the car, and while playing sports. It is important to deliver tooth safety messages as well as educate of what to do in a dental emergency.

There are explanations, suggested fun exercises, 'how-to' examples and teacher's tips too on these key elements.

Part of the next generation of Bright Smiles Bright Futures resources, this program is a fun, informative and ready-to-use set of tools for educating and engaging children in their own oral health and home care.

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