The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has endorsed a public/private partnership programme which aims to reduce tooth decay in children.
Known as Brush Bus, the scheme will be rolled out across schools in a handful of cities in the north of England and aims to educate school children about the importance of oral health.
Around 18,000 pupils will be involved in the programme, which provides educational material and encourages students to brush their teeth together every day. As well as this, pupils will also be given a twice-yearly check-up for two years.
Dr Carter, who recently visited Francis Askew Primary School in Hull to see Brush Bus in action, said: “I absolutely endorse the Brush Bus Programme. It is an inspiring and innovative programme which deserves to be rolled out on a national basis, especially in areas of need.”
This is not the first scheme endorsed by the BDHF which aims to target the lack of information given to young children about the dangers of a poor oral health routine. The organisation believes that children who are taught good oral health habits from a young age are more likely to continue them into later life.
Recent figures reveal a third (33 per cent) of 12-year-olds have cavities and around one in seven (14 per cent) of eight-year-olds have signs of decay in permanent teeth, showing that the provision of oral health education is urgent.
In order to spread the word, BDHF launched a campaign, along with a website, featuring a spaceman character called Buddy who will explore oral health in partnership with children. Dentists, teachers and parents can visit the website in order to download free material and resources to begin teaching children about the benefits of taking care of their teeth.
As well as this, the BDHF is asking for dental professionals to utilise welcome packs and other such marketing materials in order to further highlight the issue.
Dental professionals are in a key role which enables them to easily pass on basic lessons directly to children in order to teach them the value of good oral hygiene. For example, encouraging regular checkups, providing toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste and warning children and parents about high sugar diets.