For the past five years, the Advanced Dental Care Group Tooth Fairy has been visiting various early childcare centres, pre-schools and prep classes to help educate kids on the importance of looking after their teeth, and make them aware of healthy eating habits that benefit their oral health.
ADCG’s Business Manager, Shelly Wells, who has been going around with the tooth fairy shared some insight on how the visits look and how it benefits the children. She has also given some tips on what you can implement at home to excite your younger ones about oral health.
What is the purpose of the visits?
Our aim is to educated young children on how to look after their teeth. We teach them techniques on how to brush their teeth and how often through the use of interactive activities, songs and actions.
What does a visit looks like?
The visits are around 15-20 minutes. When we arrive, the kids are already very excited as they get to meet the ADCG tooth fairy. Our tooth fairy enters the class and interacts with the kids for a few minutes before settling them down.
From there we go through a few activities of which one of the activities that kids always love is the happy tooth, sad tooth game. This is where we show two images; one of a cartoon tooth with a big smile, and the other picture of a cartoon tooth with a sad face. We discuss that with cleaning your teeth well and a healthy diet, you can keep your teeth happy. Thereafter, we go through images of various foods like fruit, lollies, and soft drinks while asking the kids if they’ll make our teeth happy or sad and then placing it on the tooth. The kids get very involved and often already are well aware of the healthy foods to eat.
We do a few more activities, sing a song with them, and end with reading a book from Colgate, Dr Rabbit and Brushalotamus. Click here to read the story online.
What do the kids get out of the visits?
We’ve been told that the visit from the tooth fairy have been a big highlight. It helps kids engage and interact. By the end of the lesson, we go over what they learnt and they enthusiastically repeat a few points of the visit. Each kid gets a gift bad which includes, a tooth brush, stickers and activities to do. There will also be a voucher inviting the child and their family to visit the practice.
5 ways to engage and excite
kids about oral health at home.
1. Make teeth brushing time an activity.
Find a song around two minutes long to play when it’s time to brush their teeth.
Play this every time they brush their teeth and make sure they brush from side to side for the whole duration of the song. You can find various songs on online, click here for a great example of one you can use.
2. Keep educating them on healthy food that will make their teeth “happy”.
When you child is eating something good for their oral health for example a yogurt, emphasise how great yogurt is for their teeth. With it being high in calcium and protein it makes teeth healthy and strong. The probiotics also benefits your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. By doing this every time they are eating a beneficial food will educate them and get them excited to eat healthy foods. Click here to see other food that are particularly beneficial for oral health.
3. Use the Tooth Fairy as their friend
Kids love the tooth fairy. It help them engage and interact. Talk about the tooth fairy being their friend and if they don’t brush their teeth or want too much sugary snacks, tell them it will make the tooth fairy very sad and they don't want to make a friend sad.
4. Baby Teeth
Educate them on their baby teeth and that when they are old enough (feel free to use the tooth fairy again saying that when she thinks they are ready), they will lose their baby teeth and get a whole new set of adult teeth. Emphasis that they get to practise looking after their teeth and to know that once their adult teeth come through, how to look after them.
5. Dentists are their friends
Educate them about the dentist and get them excited about visiting their local dentist. It’s a great idea to introduce the dentist to your children from a young age. Try bringing them along to your visits so that they can see you lead by example. They can come along as early as six months and simply sit on the chair with you for a little joy ride. This gets them familiar with the sounds and movements. Further, there are many cartoon shows and books that include a dentist and can show kids it’s a normal thing to do. Click here is a copy of the Dr Rabbit and Brushalotamus book that is red at the tooth fairy visits that you can use at home.