The new ‘Book and Brush at Bedtime’ project is part of a wider oral health promotion programme for children and young people in the borough.
This project focuses on younger children and includes:
- training of health and social care professionals working with younger children
- the provision of fluoride toothpaste and brushes and development and sharing of resources
- support for children’s centres in organising oral health activities with tailored oral health information for parents by their nominated oral health champions.
The book ‘Dinosaur Douglas and the Beastly Bugs,’ written by a local author, uses the lens of establishing bedtime routines to promote both good oral health behaviours, (including brushing teeth with a fluoride toothpaste last thing at night before you go to sleep) and reading bedtime stories (to help support the development of literacy and pre-literacy skills and school readiness). This approach is based on existing evidence which shows that developing good bedtime routines early means they are then taken forward into the rest of childhood and adult life.
The book has also been read with groups of young children in local libraries and children’s centres, alongside distribution of fluoride toothpaste and brush packs. This supports messages delivered at parenting workshops and develops health promoting, supportive environments. Community champions in the area have also been supporting the promotion of child oral health as part of their wider early years work. They have also conducted insight work on child oral health locally, and have been providing peer support for oral health to parents in children’s settings and at community events.