All smiles: a tooth brushing project for special needs children

02 Oct 2017

Children in special schools require higher levels of support due to their learning difficulties, complex medical needs or sensory impairments.

For parents, maintaining their oral health can be challenging and the situation is made worse because the medication that many of the children must take is damaging to their teeth.

Thanks to a grant of just over £19,000 from us, the local Community Dental Service has trained a ‘dental champion’ in several East London special schools, to help children in their daily tooth brushing. 

They supplied equipment such as brushes, toothpaste, timers and suction units for children who have difficulty swallowing. This is stored in double decker ‘brush buses’, which are a big hit with the kids.

So far, 200 school staff have been trained, and nearly 600 of London’s most vulnerable children have been helped to develop an important life skill and have improved dental health.

By having their teeth brushed daily at school, the children are more accepting of their parents doing it at home, which is giving parents some valuable time back.

Speaking about this, one parent said: "It used to be really difficult to brush her teeth; in the last few weeks things have really changed and she allows me to brush them."

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