Local MP David Rutley, had his toothbrush at the ready on Thursday morning, when he gave his support to the Dental Playbox Project at Broken Cross Primary Academy.
The project aims to teach children about the importance of healthy eating and dental hygiene, and to prepare them from an early age for a trip to the dentist, by learning through play. Play gives children the opportunity to learn and express any fears that they may have in a safe and secure environment.
Product Design students at the University of Manchester have been working alongside Dental Playbox to develop visually exciting resources for schools and teachers. A specially designed box of resources including role play uniforms, hand puppets, games, stories, toothbrushes and a teacher’s pack is left for a week after the session for the children to continue learning.
Dental Playbox distribute sessions around the North West region, visiting nursery children from the age of two years, and going into schools to talk to pupils up to the age of six years old. Since the start of 2012, they have visited over 19,000 children, as they seek to combat young children affected by tooth decay.
Speaking at the event, Headteacher, Brian Wilkinson said, “Dental health is an important issue across the country, but can be tackled really effectively through better education, especially at an early age. That is why projects like Dental Toolbox are so important, since they successfully make a serious personal health issue into something that is fun, safe and accessible”.
David Rutley added, “Research suggests that 46% of children have been admitted to hospital for a tooth extraction, which is an alarming statistic. I would urge more schools to support projects like this one, and hope that people of all ages are aware of the importance of their dental health. I would like to thank Dental Playbox and Broken Cross Primary Academy for taking forward this initiative”.