Partnership to protect those “First Smiles”

Health & Hygiene
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BSDHT and Brushlink present First Smiles 2018: A community campaign to improve oral health awareness in children

It’s a shocking fact, but almost one in four children start school with tooth decay. On average, five-year olds have tooth decay in three to four teeth.

However, the situation is set to change right across the country thanks to an innovative campaign led by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) and supported by award-winning Brushlink.

On Friday 15th June the BSDHT will run First Smiles 2018. Sponsored by Brushlink, First Smiles aims to encourage local dental teams to engage with their communities in nurseries, schools and their own dental practices, to raise the importance of oral health in the younger generation.

Annette Matthews Social Media Coordinator from the BSDHT explained: “More children than ever before are being admitted to hospital for tooth extractions under general anaesthetic because of tooth decay, which is wholly preventable.

“We are laying down the gauntlet to dental care professionals to go into their local schools and nurseries and deliver the good oral care message. The aim is to teach as many young people (and their parents, guardians and teachers) how to better care for their dental health and general wellbeing.”

Included in First Smiles activity is the Brushlink Challenge, which uses new, innovative and accessible oral care technology to make brushing effective and fun – and to see who is the “best brusher” in what can prove a lively competition.

Dr Dev Patel is Founder and CEO of Brushlink. He said: “When we as a group of dentists conceived and developed Brushlink the oral care of children was uppermost in our minds. By using gaming technology we have not only made tooth brushing more effective and tailor-made for individual mouths, but we have also made it fun – a definite benefit to any parent struggling to get their children enthused about brushing their teeth.

“Currently, the oral health of children in this country is a national disgrace with no immediate signs of improvement, which is why we are delighted to support the BSDHT’s First Smiles 2018 – campaigns like this can really help to turn the tide.”

First Smiles 2018 has six key aims:

• Building essential relationships between nurseries, schools and their local dental practices
• Educating children and those around them on the fundamental aspects of good oral health
• Improving the oral hygiene habits of children across the UK
• Making children feel more comfortable about visiting their dentist
• Integrating oral hygiene within health education in schools
• Tackling the worrying rise in tooth decay and extractions among children in the UK

To find out how dental practices, nurseries and schools can get involved with First Smiles 2018 visit http://www.bsdht.org.uk/firstsmiles