The Aims of Dental Playbox

Action for Sick Children has recently announced impressive growth for the Dental Playbox® Project. Dental Playbox® was started in response to the increasing numbers of young children becoming hospitalised because of tooth decay. According to statistics, over one third of children in the UK have tooth decay by the time they start primary school. Action for Sick Children provides specially trained facilitators who visit playgroups, nurseries and schools.

The project's key aim is to teach children (through the powerful medium of play) about the importance of good oral hygiene, healthy eating and to prepare them from an early age for a trip to the dentist: our secondary aim is to reduce the number of hospital admissions for tooth extraction in the under 5s.

Play gives children the opportunity to learn and express any fears that they may have in a safe and secure environment. A specially designed box of resources including role play uniforms, hand puppets, games, stories, toothbrushes etc.is used to engage the children in the session.  A teacher’s pack is left after the session to help the Teacher to build upon the session's messages. 

Dental Health Statistics

  • 46% of five year olds have experienced tooth decay
  • 60% of nine year olds have filled or decayed teeth
  • Five year olds who have visited the dentist regularly have less fillings and decay than children of the same age who have not
  • Increasing numbers of children have gum inflammation or plaque
  • Our Dental Playbox currently reaches over 7,000 children every year

“There has been much debate about children’s oral health. The number of children with dental problems is growing at an alarming rate, putting an even greater strain on the healthcare industry. Dental Playbox is a fun way for children to learn about the importance of visiting the dentist and looking after their teeth”.