A trip to the dentist might be at the top of every child's wish list, but Wirral youngsters gave the thumbs up after visiting an action-packed fun day at their local practice.
More than 100 excited youngsters, from toddlers to teenagers, got their teeth into a wide range of games and quizzes, all with an oral health theme, and came away with bags of goodies and prizes.
Dentists at Moreton Dental Care, with support from Wirral Community NHS Trust, laid on the four-hour session of free entertainment with the aim of encouraging youngsters to look after their teeth from an early age.
The move came after national reports last month highlighted that tooth decay is by the biggest reason why primary school children are admitted to hospital.
NHS data states that almost 26,000 children in England aged between five and nine were hospitalised for multiple tooth extractions in 2013-14 - almost 500 a week.
Youngsters visiting the day saw puppets demonstrate tooth cleaning, listened to dentists explaining how teeth decay, and learned about healthy eating by trying sugar-free snacks. They could also dress up as the dentist, have their faces painted and take part in competitions.
James Duckers, operational team leader with Wirral Community NHS Trust, praised the Moreton Dental team for doing a good job. "From our point of view any way we can encourage people to be a bit less resistant to getting their teeth checked and looking after the whole body has got to be a good thing. Advice like this can break down some of those barriers." said Mr Duckers.
Steve Williams, Wirral Councillor for Moreton West and Saughall Massie, described the fun day as "fantastic" and said the local authority listed promoting good oral health and tackling obecity as a top priority in its child welfare role in the borough. Wirral councillors Anita Leech and Trina Johnson also lent support by joining in the activities.
Principal dentist Paul Sherrard was delighted with the turnout on the day. Dr Sherrard said: "We've had an amazing response from the local community. We wanted youngsters to pick up a few health tips and have a bit of fun too, and judging by the number of children who turned up I think we achieved that."
He praised dental staff for their weeks of hard work planning the event, and local firms and dental companies, including DenPlan, who donated prizes and dental products.