Portsmouth pupils learn how to avoid a session in a dentist’s chair

ALL SMILES Vicky Watkinson, centre, with Year 6 pupils, from left, Owen Phillips, 11, Tilly Yeats, 10, and Hannah Smith, 10
ALL SMILES Vicky Watkinson, centre, with Year 6 pupils, from left, Owen Phillips, 11, Tilly Yeats, 10, and Hannah Smith, 10

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PUPILS at a Portsmouth school have had a lesson in dental health.

Oral health educator Vicky Watkinson from Oasis Dental Care in Cosham visited St Paul’s Primary School in Paulsgrove to give a talk to the school’s 360 pupils.

The visit was part of an educational programme aimed at lifting awareness of dental care and healthy teeth.

Oasis lead dentist Mira Krumova said: ‘Many people have simply got into bad habits. In this campaign we are encouraging parents to ensure their children are brushing their teeth properly.

‘If parents invest time in their children’s dental care early on, they could avoid invasive dental procedures not only in childhood, but also in adult life.’

The children were given demonstrations using disclosure tablets to show plaque on their teeth and why it’s important to take two minutes to brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. They were given packs with toothbrushes, balloons, advice guides and a wall chart for parents.

The visit followed the release of a survey which showed that more than two thirds of children in the south-east have had fillings.

Ms Krumova said: ‘The survey showed that in the south east over half – 51 per cent – of children aged two to 11 had an average of two to three sugary snacks a day and 67 per cent of children have at least one sugary drink a day.

‘These findings paint a worrying picture as children as young as two are eating and drinking sugary snacks and drinks regularly every day.

‘We would therefore urge parents to think about the levels of sugar content in foods and drink that they and their children consume as foods high in sugar and carbohydrates increase mouth bacteria which attack the teeth, causing decay.

‘The teeth’s natural defence, saliva, takes around an hour following consumption of these high sugar foods, to build up.

‘That’s why it’s really important to reduce the frequency of sugar consumption as well as the volume.’

For more dental advice and to find out the sugar content of popular foods, visit oasisdentalcare.co.uk/brush-up-on-brushing.