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Younsters awarded for 'healthy' teeth

Youngsters in the region are brushing up on their oral hygiene as two local primary schools receive the 'Healthy Teeth Award'.                

The Healthy Teeth Award was launched by the Oral Health Promotion team, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, to help reduce tooth decay in young children and to raise awareness between the strong link to healthy eating and good dental health, as well as reinforcing the importance of regular, thorough tooth brushing for young children with the support of an adult.

It is aimed at children under five years old and Wheatley Hill Primary School - Nursery unit and the Nursery Unit at Thornley Primary Thornley are the latest to pick up the award.

Sandra Laws Project Lead said: "The Healthy Teeth Award is aiming to educate everyone who is involved with the care and welfare of young children as well as the children themselves.  Early intervention of healthy eating habits as well as regular tooth brushing with the help and support of parents in particular and visits to the dentist will help children to have healthy teeth and with continued good practice healthy teeth as an adult too.

"It is important that steps are taken to help reduce tooth decay in young children. Healthy teeth enable young children to eat and talk better as well as leading to a happier smile!

"This is Thornley Nursery's 4th year at achieving the award and they are still very committed in looking after the children's oral health while they are in the nursery environment by participating in the supervised tooth brushing programme.  With the support of the Oral Health Promotion team, Thornley nursery, fund the programme themselves providing the children with toothbrushes and toothpaste to last the whole academic year.  The children are encouraged to brush their teeth everyday at nursery, it eventually becomes part of their daily routine.  This really does make a positive difference to the children's dental health.

"This is also Wheatley hill's 4th year at achieving the award, this proves that the staff and children are striving hard to keep oral health on 'top form'."

Julie King, Oral Health Promotion Co-ordinator said:  "This is a great achievement for both nurseries - achieving the award for the fourth year. They have both shown evidence of good practice especially where healthy eating is concerned.  The children clearly could recognise healthy snacks and drinks, which would have a positive effect with their oral health this is all thanks to the dedicated staff.

"Developing an award such as this uses positive achievable steps towards tackling health improvement within schools and allows an ideal opportunity for partnership working within the community."

Published: 3 June 2011

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