The programme sees school pupils brushing their teeth together after lunch every day, using toothbrushes and toothpaste supplied by MidCentral DHB via sponsorship. Each toothbrush comes with a hygienic cover, which pupils can personalise by writing their names on them.
Roslyn School is the first school in the MidCentral region to take part in the programme, with Somerset Crescent School soon to follow. Takaro Kindergarten and a number of kindergartens in Horowhenua also subscribe to Brush-In.
Child and Adolescent Oral Health Service dental therapist Sharon Carkeek says the plan is to get the programme into low decile schools in the MidCentral region.
“For some kids, it’s the only time during the day that they’ll brush their teeth, and it can make a real difference to their oral health and the state of their teeth.”
“I just love the kids’ enthusiasm; you get so much out of them. We’re thrilled that the staff at Roslyn have gotten on board, as there are so many demands on a teacher’s time.”
Before the brushing commenced, Sharon took the junior classes through the correct way to clean their teeth, using music and a giant set of teeth and toothbrushes for the kids to practice with.
The pupils also learnt about food planting, and how some of the food they eat comes from the soil, not the supermarket. They were also told that the best things to drink for their teeth are water and milk, while fizzy drinks and juices are only for special occasions.
Sharon says it’s hoped the introduction of the Brush-In Programme at local schools will make teethbrushing a habit for the kids, which will ultimately translate into better oral hygiene and lead to a lifetime habit of brushing their teeth at least twice daily.
Roslyn School junior pupils co-ordinate their toothbrushing, under the watchful eye of MDHB dental therapist Sharon Carkeek and teacher Carl Roberts (right).