The Dental Dazzlers, a group of almost 50 staff and students from Glasgow Dental School, spent a day at Glasgow Science Centre engaging the public in Experi-Dental – a custom-made set of hands-on experiments, writes Andrea Sherriff, Director of Postgraduate Student Affairs, Dental School.
Children (and adults!) turned Sugar Detective for the day to uncover those culprits lurking in their food that cause tooth decay and had the opportunity to build miniature communities of bacteria with Play-Doh, learning how bacteria live, what they do, and how the immune system fights to keep them under control.
Kids learned how to brush their teeth properly by practicing on hard-boiled eggs soaked in cola and how fluoride plays a role in preventing decay. Mums and dads had the opportunity to Tell us the Tooth about where they get their oral health information and how much attention they pay to the risks, role models and so called health professional experts, using our custom built Ballot Device.
Uniquely, the public engagement event was twinned with a research study which brought a cohort of children from Glasgow City (The Tooth care Study) into the Science Centre for the day with their families to be measured, have their teeth checked, a saliva sample taken to measure bacteria, and a blood sample taken to measure biological markers of ageing. This cohort of children have been measured at 4, 5 and now 8 years of age to help us understand why some children from more deprived backgrounds experience more tooth decay than those from less deprived backgrounds, and how we can tackle these inequalities.
A smashing day was had by all!
First published: 27 April 2015