Start a conversation around dental health in early years settings

Start a conversation around dental health in early years settings

As you interact with children and families, you can help get kids off to a good start with their dental health. Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) has compiled some handy resources that can help kids learn about teeth, how to brush well and about visiting to the dentist.

Healthy habits start in childhood, so to help kids get the best start with their oral health a very special storytime session was held at Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre. The storytime was conceived from a partnership between DHSV and Melbourne Library Service. The partnership began exploring opportunities to raise children – and parents’ – awareness of teeth and dental health in a fun way.

Children and Youth Services Librarian at Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, Tasha Marsh, was very supportive of the idea. Storytime sessions help introduce concepts to kids in a fun, normalising way, Tasha explained. Having a ‘teeth’ themed storytime shows kids that looking after our teeth and mouths is a part of our daily routine.

During storytime, Tasha and 20 enthusiastic pre-schoolers sang songs, laughed at funny stories about brushing, and enjoyed creating healthy – and very colourful – mouths out of paper plates. All the activities were designed to celebrate the role of teeth and keeping them healthy.

Another outcome of the partnership, was the creation of a Storytime Kit, a collection of storybooks, songs and activities, aimed to actively engage young children in fun, play-based learning around their teeth, the important jobs they do, and how to take care of them.

A big thanks to Tasha and the Children and Youth Services Team at Melbourne City Council for their enthusiasm and support for this project. And thanks also to Pia Frisby, Gannawarra Shire Council and Sue Barnard, Team Leader, Maribyrnong Library Service for their help in developing the kit.

A range of resources are available to download here.

DHSV is looking to invite children and families into a new level of awareness around dental health, with fun and engaging resources. Think about how you might apply this knowledge in your work.

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