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It’s Brush Time! Oral health charity launches new programme for schools

The British Dental Health Foundation have launched their new school tooth brushing programme ‘Brush Time’ at the Nursery World Show 2016, today in London.

The leading independent oral health charity have developed Brush Time to help nursery and school staff teach children how to brush their teeth correctly; it provides all the information and tools they need to develop engaging, interactive and informative lessons for their pupils.

Brush Time is also a great resource for dental professionals who currently, or are looking to, visit schools to help deliver important oral health messages to children.

The charity developed the programme, which is free to download, in response to a recently published review by a Cochrane Oral Health Group which found that regular brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste results in 24 per cent fewer cavities than brushing with non-fluoridated toothpaste.

Amanda Oakey, Director of Educational Resources at the British Dental Health Foundation, highlights the important role educators can play in helping children to develop good tooth brushing habits from an early age.

Ms Oakey says: “Over the last twenty years children’s oral health has generally improved, but the levels of dental decay in the first and second teeth it is still a major problem.

“A recent study of twelve year olds in England and Wales found that on average 38 per cent of 12 year olds had dental decay; this is a huge amount and is something which can quite easily be prevented with a comprehensive tooth brushing programme taught throughout schools and nurseries.

“Educators play a key role in all areas of children’s development as they are a trusted and familiar figure for them to learn and develop important behaviour from. They therefore can make a real difference when it comes to nurturing children’s tooth brushing habits and improving their dental lifelong health.

“Brush Time is suitable for children of all ages in part-time, full-time education and care and we hope educators will use this free resource to help bring important oral health messages directly to children into the classroom.”

Brush Time provides educators a huge range of information; including important guidance on the type of toothpaste which should be used for children of certain ages, how to properly brush teeth, how to store toothbrushes between use to avoid infection as well as frequently asked questions about children’s dental hygiene.

The programme has been developed with the help of oral health and education experts to meet the unique needs of children in an educational environment and hopes to play a significant role in how dental health is taught in the UK.

“Educators will be excited to find a number of activities, songs and resources which they can use to make the children’s education fun as well as sample permission forms to get them involved in the programme,” adds Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation.

“Regular brushing twice a day with an appropriate fluoride toothpaste is highly effective in preventing dental decay, by establishing good oral hygiene practice at an early phase in a child’s life helps it become an integral part of normal daily hygiene later in life.

“We believe there is a real need for Brush Time, this really is a fantastic opportunity for educators to help young children understand the importance of good oral health and can really help reinforce the message of good tooth brushing behaviour.”

For those who wish to get involved and contribute to students dental health the programme can be downloaded in full for free from the Dental Buddy website www.dentalbuddy.org/brushtime.