Derby dentist helps practices and schools promote oral health and healthy eating
A dentist in Derby has developed a free resource pack to help schools and dental practices promote oral health and sugar reduction to children, and make dentist visits less scary.
Dr. Yasmin Shakarchy, a dental practictioner based in Derby, developed a resource pack to deliver oral health and healthy eating sessions in schools, which can now be accessed by anyone registered on the SUGAR SMART website. The sessions combine education with practical exercises, including awareness of hidden sugars in popular foods and drinks.
Dr. Shakarchy has worked in several practices within London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby. She has treated countless children who have tooth decay, abscesses and serious infections. These issues stem from high sugar consumption and poor oral hygiene, which can be prevented by educating children from a young age.
PHE figures reveal that almost a quarter (24.7%) of five year olds have tooth decay, and one in four children will have tooth decay when they start school. Tooth decay is the most common reason for hospital admission among five to nine-year-olds.
To help support schools and dental practices in East Midlands promote healthier habits among children, the dentist has created a child-friendly presentation and engaging activities that anyone can use. The sessions are aimed at Key Stage 2 children and meet the national curriculum requirements for England on oral health education, combined with interactive activities to help kids understand the negative impact of high sugar diets on teeth.
Many children are not aware of the real effects of sugar on teeth and the sessions got them thinking about their snack choices.
A lot of children are scared to visit the dentist, often because of the typical perception in the media of dentists being ‘scary’ or because their parents are frightened themselves. I found that meeting with children in their ‘territory’, as opposed to a dental setting, allows them to be much more receptive to the oral health and healthy eating messages being delivered.
Yasmin is also using her programme to recruit more practices and schools in East Midlands to join the SUGAR SMART Campaign and take more holistic approaches to reduce sugar within their communities.
The resource is available under the Run a SUGAR SMART Assembly and Spread the Word actions on our website, the latter being available to all sectors. Register to take action and download the presentation.
SUGAR SMART is a campaign run by the charity Sustain. SUGAR SMART is one of the featured campaigns in the UK's Sustainable Food Cities network.