1 Feb 2011

Dentists call for free toothpaste and meet the dentist sessions for kids

Dentists call for free toothpaste and meet the dentist sessions for kids

Dentists are calling for free toothpaste, educational lessons and meet the dentist sessions to try and combat tooth decay amongst children.

Figures show that children are requiring complex, painful treatment from a very early age; some specialists have reported seeing children as young as two and three years old needing tooth extractions due to extensive decay.

Tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood illness; spending a few minutes each day cleaning and rinsing the teeth, visiting a dentist on a regular basis and avoiding sugary foods will help to protect the teeth and reduce the risk of decay and other dental health problems. The formula for keeping teeth healthy is simple; however, many young children are suffering from dental health conditions.

Dentists are attributing the high rates of decay to a lack of oral hygiene, a poor diet, containing lots of sweet, sugary foods and fizzy drinks and a lack of regular visits to the dentist. In order to combat dental health problems amongst young children, dentists are calling for free toothbrushes and toothpaste for families and urging nursery workers, parents and childminders to stop rewarding children with chocolate and sweets and to supervise them brushing their teeth; dentists are also keen to promote preventative dental treatments, such as fluoride varnish.

The recent calls come from Manchester dentists, Dr Gill Davies and Dr Collette Bridgeman; writing in the British Dental Journal, the dentists urge parents to take responsibility of their children’s oral hygiene routine as early as possible, encourage children to eat healthily and take them for regular dental check-ups. Parents must teach children about oral health from an early age and dentists are keen for primary school children to meet local dentists and learn about the importance of good oral health.

The article comes on the back of the successful Manchester Smiles campaign, which was launched last year. 6,000 children now have supervised teeth cleaning sessions, 200,000 families have received free toothpaste and toothbrushes and local dental practices have been working with primary schools in the area.

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