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Getting started

How, Where and When?

The toothbrushing club will be most effective at preventing tooth decay if children brush every day they attend your setting.


How - different settings choose to run them in different ways to fit around their routines – chat with the provider of your local programme to help decide which way will work best. It can be helpful to consider:  

The age range of the children in your club

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The age range of the children in your club

The age range of the children in your club

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The staff-to-child ratio at different times of the day

The age range of the children in your club

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Are there any children with additional needs?

Where - will the children brush? Will the children be sat on the carpet to brush, or sat at a table?
  

When - will be the best time for children to brush? In the morning, or after lunch for example?

Training

Setting leads/oral health champions should ensure that all staff involved in the delivery and supervision of toothbrushing attend training, read and follow the quality standards, and infection prevention control procedures.  

 

Ensure new staff involved in the scheme are trained either by the provider or via cascade training, by the setting lead or oral health champion.

 

Identify any staff members who may need additional training to improve their self-confidence in delivering oral health messages and/or delivering the toothbrushing club. 

Top Tips

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Oral health in the curriculum

Promoting oral health should not be approached as a separate activity. You can integrate oral health activities into the curriculum. Use learning activities that relate to curriculum targets whilst also delivering key oral health messages. 

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Make it fun!

Use creative fun ways to engage the children in the toothbrushing activity and change them around occasionally so they don’t get bored. Here are some examples of fun learning activities.

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Have an oral health champion

Having an oral health champion can aid in cascading information and training to the rest of the staff, keeping track of supplies as well as being the established point of contact with the provider. 

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Toothbrushing supplies

Keep track of your supplies. Contact your provider when more stock is needed and give them sufficient notice (at least two weeks or as agreed upon with your provider).  

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Communication is key!

Help your provider understand the context of your setting and your specific needs so they can provide the required support you need to deliver a toothbrushing club.

 

It is important for setting leads/oral health champions to have transparent communication with staff who are delivering the toothbrushing club so they can ask for support when needed and raise any concerns. 

Engagement
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Engagement infographic

Promote the scheme to parents

Here are some examples of how you can engage parents and raise awareness of supervised toothbrushing.

 

Emphasise that brushing in the setting although beneficial is not a replacement for brushing at home. Provide the parents with or signpost them to resources that encourage home toothbrushing.

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Consider language and cultural barriers

Think about the families you work with. It is important you let the provider know of any potential language barriers with families. They may be able to provide you with information about the toothbrushing club in the additional languages spoken in the local community to help with obtaining consent.  

It’s also important to let your provider know of any potential cultural barriers such as concerns about toothpaste ingredients containing animal derivatives. Identifying these concerns helps the provider address them in the information that is given to parents and may help with obtaining consent and improving participation rates. 

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Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND)

Children with SEND often require additional support to participate in toothbrushing and the needs of each child will vary. It is important to involve parents and work with your Special Educational Needs and/or Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) to understand the specific needs and preferences of each child. Below are some oral health resources that can be used, and adapted accordingly, to support children and their parents/carers.  

Find resources here

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