CHILDREN at a Neilston school have something extra to smile about after taking part in a record-breaking effort to help improve dental health.

During the last school session, primary six pupils at St Thomas' Primary claimed runner-up spot in a national competition to write lyrics for a song about the importance of looking after your teeth.

That led to an invitation to attend a special event at the SEC campus, in Glasgow, where they performed their song with a live band and took part in an attempt to create ‘The World’s Biggest Smile,’ along with other schools from across the country.

A total of 756 participants, wearing red and white ponchos, huddled together to create the ‘big smile’ to mark National Smile Month, which is organised each year by the Oral Health Foundation.

After the big smile was completed, the Neilston youngsters entertained their fellow record-breakers alongside pupils from Gavinburn Primary School, in Old Kilpatrick, and accompanied by the Glasgow Dental School Big Band.

The record attempt was then verified by experts from the Guinness World Records.

And representatives from Glasgow University’s Dental School then visited St Thomas’ Primary to present the pupils – now in primary seven – with their world record certificate.

Brendan Docherty, headteacher at St Thomas’ Primary, told the Barrhead News the school initially got involved with the Sparkling Star competition, organised by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, as part of lessons focusing on health and wellbeing.

He said: “Dental health is something that we are continually reinforcing the importance of with children, so we felt that the competition was a good way of applying literacy skills to health.”

Ruby Graham, who was one of the pupils who took part in the event at the SEC campus, added: “We found the experience of performing with a live band on stage really exciting but also nerve-wracking.

“During the day, we took part in various workshops and learned about sugar content and how this affects our teeth.

“We were also amazed by the amount of planning and organisation that went into the event and how precise the count of participants and positioning of them had to be.

“It was a day that we will never forget.”