Youngsters from local schools and children’s centres in Calderdale have been brushing up on their knowledge of the dentist after attending the Trust’s launch of its brand new, innovative book, ‘I Want to Show the Dentist my Teeth’.
Local children were invited to national children’s museum Eureka! in Halifax to hear the story of Gracie’s first visit to the dentist as told by members of the Trust’s oral health team – Vivienne Harlow, Kathryn Halstead and Catherine King.
The book was read to the youngsters by children’s librarian Ben Lawrence from Calderdale Libraries Services, who said: “Children’s books get underestimated, but the team has done a very good job. I’ve seen an awful lot of books like this and this is by far the best.”
The book uses simple, positive language and bright illustrations by health improvement practitioner Sally Baker to explain to children under five what to expect when they visit the dentist’s surgery for routine check-ups.
Ben told the team’s tale in the conservatory of Eureka!’s historic 1855 building, where the children were then presented with free goodie bags containing a copy of the book, a toothbrush, and some toothpaste.
Mrs Clarke from Todmorden C of E Primary School commented: “I thought it was fantastic. Our school is in the tooth brushing programme where the children brush their teeth at school every day and sing a song. It fits so well into our school learning too as we are currently learning about our bodies and how they work.
“The children loved the event and the book – they were all really engaged.”
Lacey, aged 3, from Todmorden C of E Primary School, said “I liked the book. The best bit was the end.”
At the event, children were also tasked with guessing how many toothbrushes were in a jar. Jacob from Creations Children’s Centre’s guess of 53 was just one brush away from the correct total of 54, which won him the top prize of a high street shopping voucher and a family pass for Eureka!.
The day was topped off by a puppet show performed by Jubilee Road Children’s Centre, featuring a popular dentist fighting against ‘Jimmy Germ’ to save infected tooth ‘Peter Molar’. Milk and banana puppets also taught children which foods to eat to have healthy teeth like ‘Paul Molar’. The staff at Eureka! then entertained the children with fun activities to finish off the event.
Vivienne Harlow, health improvement practitioner, said: “The day was a huge success – we were really pleased with how many children attended to find out more. We’re hoping that children take the book home, read it with their parents and look forward to their first visit to the dentist.
“The book is a great, fun way to educate children about the importance of good oral hygiene and help them to realise that visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be scary.”
If you are from a school or children’s centre in Calderdale and would like to order copies of the book, contact firstname.lastname@example.org