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Dental awareness drive puts smile on parents’ faces

St Bernard's First Sch Presentation 080519 { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) of a project based learning presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth. Minister Neill Costa in attendance.

Pupils in Year 3 of St Bernard’s First School gave a presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth to their parents, guardians and other guests yesterday.

Among these guests were the Minister for Health Neil Costa, the GHA dentist Emma Caetano, Charles Russo, a dietitian at the GHA, Jane Russell from Crafty Cupcake and public health promotion officers Daya Dewfall and Emily Lopez.

The event was “the accumulation of a project based cycle the children actually started on around book week when they were working on Roald Dahl’s books and they focused on the famous story ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’,” said head teacher Sonia Lopez.

“I want to emphasise the volume of work, the volume of knowledge and understanding that has gone in to this whole process which has involved the teachers and the children working together and learning together,” she added.

The children took it in turns to give a short synopsis of the book before talking about chocolate itself. They had conducted a tasting poll to find out which chocolate was the most favourite out of dark, milk and white, with dark being the less popular.

After this, they sang a song about how much they loved chocolate and its taste.

They then give information as to how chocolate is made including naming countries where the cocoa bean grows.

St Bernard's First Sch Presentation   080519  { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) of a project based learning presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth. Minister Neill Costa in attendance.

St Bernard's First Sch Presentation 080519 { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) of a project based learning presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth. Minister Neill Costa in attendance.

From there they stated that the question the group of children had to answer was what the effect of chocolate and sugary foods on their teeth is.

Ms Caetano had visited the children in school to teach them about dental health care. This led to the children recording interviews with other pupils asking what would happen if they ate too much sugar. The consensus was that your teeth would fall out and/or would turn yellow or black.

Teaching the children about healthy eating was Mr Russo. During his visit, he had the children try to identify the taste difference between sugar free and sugar included foods.

The children also visited Ms Russell at Crafty Cupcakes and made some treats from scratch.

During the learning processes they learnt that too much sugar can cause cavities, which can also give a person bad breath. They learnt about the number of sugar cubes within various foods and drinks, especially cola.

The message was not to avoid sugar but to limit the intake and to always brush your teeth. They sang a song about how to brush your teeth and gave a demonstration.

Ending their presentation, they said that another important part of having healthy teeth is your smile and they sang a song about never being fully dressed without a smile from the musical Annie.

Following their presentation, Mr Costa thanked them for the invitation and stated they should all be very proud of their performance and project research. He also admitted that he liked white chocolate but limited himself to one bar a day, just like the children recommended, much to their amusement.

He commended them on their knowledge of how chocolate was made and said: “that shows how well connected we are on one planet and we need to take care of each other to make sure we get the chocolate from that part of the world.”

St Bernard's First Sch Presentation   080519  { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) of a project based learning presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth. Minister Neill Costa in attendance.

St Bernard's First Sch Presentation 080519 { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) of a project based learning presentation on the impact of sugar on teeth. Minister Neill Costa in attendance.

Ms Caetano called their presentation, “absolutely amazing” and commented on how brilliant their pronunciation of some different dental words was. She also noted that it was important that the parents knew what the children did, as they are the ones who help brush or remember to brush teeth and do the shopping.

She also reminded the parents and guardians that is it not just the children who need to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes, but they had to do it too.

Mr Russo said he was impressed with how the children worked out how much sugar was in a variety of items.

Pics by Johnny Bugeja