Hartlepool school pupils were all smiles when they were paid a special visit by the dentist.
Youngsters from Kingsley Primary School, in Taybrooke Avenue, welcomed mydentist’s mobile classroom this week.
More than 200 pupils were welcomed on board to be given tips on how to maintain a happy, healthy mouth.
Teacher Anita Bonser-Hall said: “It went really well and the children really enjoyed the experience.
“What was really great about it was that some of the children were quite afraid of the dentist before getting on the bus, but this experience assured them that there is nothing to worry about.”
She added: “They were shown how to correctly brush their teeth and told how many times a day they should be doing it, as well as learning about healthy and unhealthy foods that are good and bad for their teeth.
“It was a really fun experience but they learnt a lot from it too, and will feel much more confident the next time they go to the dentist.”
The arrival of the mydentist mobile classroom in Hartlepool follows research which revealed that a staggering 28% of children in the North East will have experienced dental decay before their first day of school.
The research also shows that for five-year-olds in the region, dental decay will result in one or more of their teeth needing to be extracted or filled because of cavities.
Last year, almost 500 children aged between five and nine were admitted to hospital for multiple tooth extractions every week, making tooth decay one of the nation’s most common childhood diseases.
Mydentist practice manager, Tracey Featherstone, said: “Our aim is to change this trend by raising awareness of the free dental care which is available to children on the NHS.
“We also want to show children that looking after your teeth is not only really important, but it can also be fun.”