Children in Honduras are brushing their teeth as part of the school day thanks to a new programme funded by Dentaid.

The charity has paid for brushes and paste for all the children at a school in the poor, remote region of Candelaria and provided teaching resources so they can learn about oral health. Children in Honduras are brushing their teeth as part of the school day thanks to a new programme funded by Dentaid.

Dentaid was approached by Amy Lynch, a volunteer with Project Trust in Candelaria who was concerned about the high levels of decay amongst the children at her school.  Amy approached Dentaid who agreed to fund a 12-month oral health programme for all the children at the school.

“Living in a very rural part of the country it takes about four hours to get to the nearest city, Gracias, where I picked up first batch of toothbrushes,” said Amy. “We were given some very strange looks on the bus ride home!

“Honduran school is quite different from the schools that we’re used to in the UK because we seldom have a full week of classes for various reasons but we finally found a week to concentrate on tooth brushing.

“The point that I wanted to get across to the children wasn’t just that they needed to be brushing their teeth but that they needed to take care of their teeth. They needed to think about how much sugar was in the lollipops that they buy every day.

“We talked about what foods and drinks have sugar in and what happens when we don’t take care of our teeth, which they connected to why they’ve had toothache in the past.”

Amy also used Dentaid’s Bright Bites Programme to teach the children about the effects of sugar consumption.  The programme includes lessons plans and experiments and Amy placed eggs in water and fizzy drinks to demonstrate the effect of sugar on teeth. They also did experiments to show the benefits of brushing with fluoride paste.

To keep the brushes safe, Amy has a toothbrush holder in the school so tooth brushing can be incorporated into the school day.  “I think that the whole project was a success and I’ll be back into Gracias in a few weeks to pick up the next batch,” she said.  “I can’t thank Dentaid enough for their incredible generosity. If you have the time, please read about their brilliant work and if you have the money, please donate to them so that they can fund more projects like ours.”