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Smile of Mann Supervised Toothbrushing Programme

Smile of Mann is a supervised toothbrushing programme available to all nurseries on the Isle of Man.

The purpose of the programme is to help towards improving the oral health of young children on the Isle of Man, as the latest figures show that 27.8% of five year olds on the Island have experienced decay.

Smiling Toothpaste

Public Health England recommends supervised toothbrushing in targeted childhood settings based on strong/sufficient evidence of effectiveness, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends the consideration of supervised toothbrushing schemes for nurseries in areas where children are at high risk of poor oral health.

Childhood settings such as nurseries are able to provide a supportive, suitable environment for children to participate in a supervised toothbrushing programme. Skills developed at nursery can encourage and support home brushing, increasing the likelihood of sustained impacts.

The programme coincides with the development of an oral health needs assessment, which will then guide the development of a new oral health strategy focused upon children aged 0-11 years old.

We currently have 21 Nurseries who have participated in Smile of Mann Programme since its launch in September 2018.

Delivery of Supervised Toothbrushing

  • Children must have received parent/carer consent to be able to participate in the programme
  • Children must be able to independently brush their own teeth whilst under supervision of nursery staff
  • Each child will be provided with their own toothbrush (to be kept at the nursery). This is identified by a symbol which matches a corresponding symbol on the toothbrush storage system and name chart
  • Supervised toothbrushing takes place daily using the 1450ppmF toothpaste supplied as part of the programme
  • Participating nurseries must follow the Smile of Mann Supervised Toothbrushing Standards
  • Monitoring of the programme takes place twice per year, and includes observation of the toothbrushing session, discussion of the Standards with the key nursery lead, feedback, and arrangement of a follow-up visit

Children are supervised in the programme because young children need help with toothbrushing on a daily basis. Children should be encouraged to toothbrush themselves at home, but they will still need help and should be supervised with daily toothbrushing.

Smile of Mann is offered to enhance the twice daily brushing practice that takes place at home, and must not be seen as a replacement for this.

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