Having a dentist visit your elementary school can be a great way to promote good oral health and help reduce the fear of visiting a dentist. Work with a family dentist in your area, and consider incorporating the following into the visit for a successful school assembly or classroom visit.
Schedule Around A Holiday
Holidays are typically filled with lots of sweet treats, from candy to desserts. Having a dentist visit around a holiday provides a great teaching moment for why candy and sweets should be eaten in moderation. Ask the dentist to talk about delicious treats that can be better for teeth, such as fresh fruits, and have him or her talk about how to balance a few pieces of candy with a good oral health routine.
Have A Brushing And Flossing Demonstration
Young children may already know how important it is to brush and floss, but they may not always know the right technique. Have the family dentist visiting your school go over the ways to brush teeth in the front and back, as well as how to floss. If possible, ask the dentist to use a set of model teeth, and invite children to volunteer and show how they would brush or floss. This interactive part of the program can help kids stay engaged during the visit.
Cover What Happens In A Dental Visit
Young children may be scared about visiting the dentist, and going over exactly what happens at a checkup can be a great way to alleviate some of those fears. Talk about the importance of dental cleanings, and have the dentist explain how cleanings are performed. He or she may even have a video or slideshow that can be incorporated into the presentation.
Give Out Dental Supplies
Kids love having something tangible to help them learn, and they also like getting free treats. If the dentist doesn't already have promotional bags filled with toothbrushes and toothpaste, consider creating some to give out at the presentation. You can also add a fun toy to make the treat bags a bit more exciting. Be sure to give the dentist an opportunity to place his or her business cards in each bag so parents can schedule an appointment for their child to have a cleaning or checkup.
You may need to have parents fill out a permission slip before holding a dentist assembly or class visit, particularly if there will be audience participation. Work with your school administration to make sure all of the required paperwork is complete before the dentist comes to your school.