20% of children under five have poor oral hygiene

Posted by Media team / Wednesday 02 November 2016 / Press release

Polling of 2,000 parents across the UK found that one in five children under five brush their teeth just once a day or less frequently, even though baby teeth, much like adult teeth, need brushing twice a day – in the morning and just before bed.

child tooth brushing

Almost 20 per cent of parents also said that they only sometimes supervise their children aged five or under to brush their teeth, despite the fact that NHS guidelines advise parents to supervise their children while brushing their teeth up until the age of seven.

Lack of supervision to ensure children are brushing effectively twice a day, can lead to a lifetime of poor oral health.

"Too many children continue to be badly affected by poor oral health – being able to smile with confidence is important for a child’s self-esteem and lifelong physical health."

Carol Iddon, Managing Director, Action for Children
child brushing teeth

To tackle the problem we've launched family educational sessions and take-home packs for 10,000 children to help them develop an effective oral hygiene routine.

Our workshops will offer the chance to take part in interactive activities and discussions and to find out useful tips about brushing, limiting sugary food and drinks and regular visits to the dentist.

"Through our fun and informative workshops we aim to provide the opportunity for children and families to develop a better understanding of the importance of oral health. Prevention can help avoid unnecessary pain for children and save parents and the healthcare system money."

Carol Iddon, Managing Director at Action for Children

We'll roll out our first ever oral health workshops which are tailored to children aged 0-3 year, 3-6 year and 7+ years at 230 children’s centres.

The workshops and take-home packs are endorsed by the Oral Health Foundation and funded through Wrigley’s Extra® Smile BackTM project, a major campaign that took place this summer during which a donation to Action for Children was made, for every pack of Extra® sugarfree gum sold in the UK.

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