Oral Hygiene by Louise Mckenzie

This project is to educate children and parents in Malawi/Zambia on how to brush their teeth and the importance of it. The benefits that having a healthy mouth has on you and also the negative effects it has if you don’t brush your teeth. PSYV groups in Scotland are welcome to try this out with a group of children or primary school group to help improve children's oral health.

Louise discovered that Malawi and Zambia do not enjoy the same access to dentistry, with less than 40% of the population regularly brushing their teeth. Most dentists work in private hospitals which are simply too expensive for most Malawians to afford. In Zambia there are very few dentists who work in the public sector, partly due to the work being overwhelming, demotivating and considerably underpaid.

When Louise goes to Malawi or Zambia she will be working with mainly children. However , I think it is essential that the knowledge is also available to parents in order for them to enforce it upon their children.

The benefits are that children will be educated in brushing their teeth and help prevent illness due to bad oral hygiene. My project may also inspire children to potentially take up a career in dentistry which will have a great impact on their communities as there is such a lack of them available today.

Scotland's Childsmile website has lots of good advice for different age groups.

Are you sugar smart? Sugar is one of the major causes of tooth decay. But do you know how much sugar is in your foods. Why not assemble some products and see if your group can guess how much sugar is in each product. Find more information on sugar facts here. Use the sugar calculator to work out how much sugar you consume in a typical day.

Sugar swaps: Another good game to play in your group is sugar swaps. Think about sugary foods and healthier alternatives that you can choose instead. Why not make a leaflet or poster of sugar swap ideas that you think children and young people will love. Find some ideas here.

Watch this video and think about ways that you can promote regular brushing for children.

This video shares ideas on no sugar and low sugar alternatives.