The national Department of Health declared September as Oral Health Month, with the purpose of creating awareness around the importance of good oral health and encouraging the practice of oral hygiene.
Tooth Fairies is a campaign that has been running at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital since May 2013, when Dr Susan Brink, a dentist and Paila Williams, an oral hygienist dressed in sparkly dresses and tiaras to look like Tooth Fairies.
These 2 volunteers will visit the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on 11 September 2015 to hand out toothbrushes and toothpaste to parents and encourage them to practice good oral care with their children. They will teach children the importance of looking after their primary (baby) teeth so that they can develop good habits for looking after their teeth.
What will happen on the day?
Tooth Fairies will be encouraging parents to supervise children when brushing their teeth to ensure that:
- it happens twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and is one of the last things their children do before going to bed, and
- children spit the toothpaste out instead of rinsing their mouth, leaving the important fluoride on their teeth longer to strengthen it.
Good oral health is an essential part of general health and wellbeing. The main causes of tooth decay have been linked to regularly eating or drinking sugary foods and drinks and not cleaning your gums and teeth properly.
Children will be taught how much toothpaste to put on their toothbrushes and with the help of a big pair of teeth, shown how to brush their teeth.
Children’s primary (baby) teeth are as important as permanent teeth. Primary teeth help children chew, speak and hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. It’s also important for parents to know that primary teeth are important for the proper growth of the face and jaw.
Prioritising oral hygiene is an important way for them to help prevent oral disease in their children.
The Tooth Fairies campaign has been a success, thanks to the hospital’s voluntary programme managed by the Friends of the Children’s Hospital Association (FOCHA). Tooth Fairies are open to seeing children from the whole of the Western Cape, around South Africa and even across Africa.
View more helpful tips on oral health care. For information about the Tooth Fairies campaign contact Angelique Jordaan:
Tel: 021 658 5448