A ‘magic’ national campaign to address the state of children’s oral health in the UK has been launched in Yorkshire.
Practice Management Consultant and coach, Nicki Rowland, has teamed up with dental professionals and magicians from The Magic Circle to deliver workshops in primary schools across the UK to bring her new children’s book “The Magic Dentist” to life. Written in rhyming verse and Illustrated by her daughter Isabella, the book will help educate primary school children to look after their teeth. The campaign will also provide basic oral health tools like toothbrushes and toothpaste to children as well as helping alleviate the fear of the dentist that many children have by creating a fun, entertaining and highly engaging learning environment.
Celebrity dentist Dr Trishala Lakhani has offered her help to the campaign along with Dr Chinwe Akuonu who works closely with Colgate.
Nicki Rowland, a former dental practice manager herself and voted into the top 50 of the UK’s most influential people in dentistry in 2021, said: “Having owned a dental practice near Hull, I was witness to a never-ending stream of children with severe oral health needs. This was the instigator for initially writing The Magic Dentist book. The state of children’s oral health was shocking before the Covid-19 pandemic but the crisis and the lack of accessibility to NHS dentistry has compacted the problem. The most common reason that children are admitted to hospital in the UK is to have teeth extracted. That’s an absolute disgrace. The cost-of-living crisis has impacted children’s oral health even further. Many parents cannot even afford to buy a toothbrush and toothpaste for their children! It’s a third world state of affairs and we have to act.”
Written in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England in Delivering Better Oral Health, the idea of “The Magic Dentist” campaign is to deliver entertaining and engaging oral health workshops to educate children in how to look after their teeth. Children will go home with a bag of goodies including a free toothbrush, toothpaste and a copy of the book which includes brushing instructions, a brushing chart and a glossary. The aim is to provide every primary school child in the country with a copy of The Magic Dentist book so they have the toolkit to look after their teeth moving forwards.
Nicki continued: “Oral health education is now part of the national curriculum in primary schools so a large part of the initiative would be to give teachers a workshop package and to train them to deliver it themselves, with the hope of eventually integrating The Magic Dentist into the national curriculum.
“We also need to find a way of providing children who are most impacted by the cost-of-living crisis with an ongoing supply of toothbrushes, toothpaste, disclosing tablets and so on while really encouraging the dental profession to take control of the current crisis by engaging in this preventative oral health campaign.”
At the moment, Nicki is self-funding this initiative but is seeking sponsors to ensure that the campaign will make a significant impact on the dental crisis that we are currently facing.