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Back to school with Kim Durk, our Oral Health Educator

27 September 2021

With schools now returned for the autumn term, one person who couldn’t wait to get back into the classroom is Kim Durk, our Oral Health Educator.

For several years, Kim has been visiting local primary schools to tell children about the importance of oral hygiene and share fun tips on how to keep their teeth clean. And having missed out on the opportunity during Covid, she is delighted to be booking local school visits in once again.

“I usually spread the content over two sessions,” says Kim. “In the first session, we talk about the importance of a healthy diet and the damage that sugar can do to your teeth. The children are surprised to find out how seemingly healthy foods such as raisins contain high levels of sugar which sticks to their teeth. I also use a model to show them how to use a toothbrush correctly, and how electric toothbrushes require a different technique – something most of them are completely unaware of. It’s a really helpful and informative way of getting the children to start off as they mean to go on.”

“The second session is where the fun really starts” adds Kim. “The children do a session with the disclosing tablets we use in the practice, which are also available over the counter at your local pharmacy if you want to try it at home. The tablets contain a purple dye that colours the plaque on your teeth, making it very easy to see. This highlights any areas the children may be missing with their brushing, so that they know where to concentrate in future.”

“The children are under absolutely no pressure to take part in the disclosing sessions if they don’t want to” explains Kim, “and parents are asked to sign a form giving permission beforehand. But the children love it, especially if we do it around Halloween. If I go to a school on trick or treating day they very often don’t want to brush the dye off because they want to go home with purple tongues!”

Having just completed her first school visit since the pandemic began, Kim was delighted to receive the following feedback: “I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming to visit us yesterday, the staff were really impressed with how engaging and age-appropriate the session was!  The children learned so much which was really evident from their play in their afternoon as they were checking each other’s teeth in our role play dentist and offering each other lots of advice!  I will be in touch soon to possibly arrange a parents’ session.”

Kim keeps Fridays clear for her community visits but sometimes has availability on a Wednesday if necessary. “Quite a few of the schools I work with on a regular basis arrange my visits to coincide with curriculum work they are doing on the body, healthy diets, and so on, but I am happy to come at any time. If any schools are interested in arranging a visit, please do get in touch!

To book or enquire about an Oral Health Session for your school, call our reception desk on 01805 623657 and ask for Kim.



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