Year 3 Project
Self Initiated 
Roles: Researcher, Service Designer, Product Designer 

A hybrid programme which combines education with therapeutic emotional support? 

The Little Smilers Club teaches children how to perform good oral hygiene themselves, through 
art therapy.


Why Art Therapy? 

The Little Smilers Club

We provide an educational programme for oral hygiene which is both fun and playful for children. Our aim is to transform the toothbrushing routine from a chore into something to look forward to. The aspect of introducing art therapy works in many ways - it removes any clinical feelings associated to dental visits and toothbrushing; it is fun, engaging and practical which increases the digestion of information and finally it works as a form of therapy to reduce anxiety, stress and fears of the dentist which is prominent in children. Poor oral hygiene and fears of the dentist is something which children carry through to adult hood and is difficult to reverse. We aim to eliminate this completely by creating a positive view of dental health and surgery visits. 

Brand ethos: We aim to support children, their parents and the dentists to make life a little easier for everyone! 

The Toothbrus

User testing was done from ages 20-23.  
I used this age group rather than my target audience of age 7 as they are still learning how to brush their teeth themselves and may not know how to hold the toothbrush yet. I conducted a toothbrushing diary as part of my research and chose individuals with a good level of oral hygiene to use as a benchmark. ​​​​​​​

The Flosser

Using the same shapes as original inter dental product, I created tools which shape was easily identical as it will be an unfamiliar product to children but changed the material sop they can still distinguish between this and clinical ones.

Paint Tubes

The paint tubes are supposed to mimic the feel and shape of toothpaste tubes. I also wanted to use these as a part of the learning process so have named the colours after dental products which are of the same colour. It will allow children to come familiar so if they have to undergo any treatments which include any of these common problems it is less daunting. They will know a little bit of information about the treatments as they will be described, but also if the dentist asks the assistant for any of these products they won’t sound scary or unfamiliar

User Experience 


This stage happens within the surgery at appointment assisted by dental nurse. 

Firstly children are given opportunity trial on paper to get a feel for the brush. The children are shown a demonstration in colour yellow which they follow. They are then asked to repeat again in a different colour. This can continue at home with other colours.

Using the 'flosser'  - children can use origami to mimic teeth to practice and get an initial feel for the motion of flossing whilst also creating something beautiful. This can then be practiced on the paper tooth model where it can show with paint where flossing is targeting that the toothbrush misses and why it is so important.  
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