A supervised toothbrushing toolkit to tackle tooth decay in children

kids' toothbrushing
Photo: ramirezom 123rf

A new toolkit developed by a UK team to increase supervised toothbrushing for younger children aims to address health equalities caused by tooth decay.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield, University of Leeds and Bradford Improvement Academy, have developed free online resources for NHS organisations, local government, schools, nurseries and parents, as part of the BRUSH project to better support existing and new toothbrushing programs.

“One of the key ways to prevent tooth decay is toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste,” study co-lead Professor Zoe Marshman said.

“Toothbrushing programs in nurseries and early years at school are really important to complement toothbrushing at home.

“We already know supervised toothbrushing programs for young children are effective in reducing tooth decay, and easy for nurseries/schools to run. However, the uptake and maintenance of these programs has been fragmented.

“The new toolkit will make it easier for new toothbrushing programs to be set up, meaning more children will be able to benefit from the programs so less children suffer from tooth decay and its consequences.”

Co-lead of the BRUSH study Dr Kara Gray-Burrows added: “We know that there’s good practice and excellent resources out there, so our project was about bringing together all that’s already good and seeing what gaps there were.

“The toolkit is a central one-stop-shop sharing best practice and containing new materials we have developed to give organisations setting up these programs, nurseries, schools, parents and children the relevant information and resources easily.”

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