News & media News National Smile Month: Strong Teeth Make Strong Kids 15 May 2018 Shocking research has revealed that nearly a third (31%) of 5-year-olds and nearly half (46%) of 8-year-olds in the UK have obvious tooth decay in their primary teeth. Also, it was found that, sadly, 35% of 12-year-old children are too embarrassed to smile or laugh due to tooth decay or missing teeth. These dental health issues come down to many factors, including poor oral care habits and nutrition. However, with the right support, they’re mostly preventable. During National Smile Month [14th May - 14th June], campaign sponsor, Oral-B is on a mission to help UK parents adopt appropriate home-based oral health behaviours and thereby reduce the number of children with toothache and dental problems – all through its #StrongTeethMakeStrongKids campaign. Oral-B’s “Strong Teeth Make Strong Kids” programme aims to educate and support parents on how they can help their children develop the right habits, as well as lay down a strong foundation for good oral health, for a healthy and confident smile for life. “We are working closely with the UK’s Dental Professionals by aiming to provide up to 20,000 dental professionals this year with simple and engaging educational materials for parents and their children during routine check-ups. “Oral-B is committed to take on this challenge to sustainably improve the situation in the UK”, says Alessio Martini, Brand Manager for Oral-B in the UK. Combined with the right dental care products, these positive oral health messages are designed to encourage parents to lead the way, so they can see that these oral health issues are mostly preventable with simple changes to their families’ daily oral care routine. Oral-B Smile Director, Dr Uchenna Okoye, provides a snapshot of the brand’s educational materials that dental professionals will hand out, through some simple top tips to help parents support their children on their journey to strong and healthy teeth: Use the right products! Use an electric toothbrush with a round brush head – from three years of age, children can use an electric toothbrush with a round brush head as standard practice. This is generally the best option for plaque removal and the best for gums in general. It’s something parents are not generally aware of and are often unsure about what the correct method is to use. Parent assisted brushing – parents should actively brush their child’s teeth from the eruption of the first tooth up to the age of 7. Obviously, the brushing relationship will change over time from a parent-led approach to a more collaborative effort but parents should maintain this responsibility. Brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time – parents should ensure their child’s brushing lasts for 2 minutes twice a day each time using the fun Oral-B Stages (for children 3–5 years) or Junior (for children aged 6–12 years) Power Electric Toothbrush and Oral-B Kids Toothpaste. Make brushing fun with the Disney Magic Timer App – parents can add some extra magic by downloading the Disney Magic Timer app to keep kids motivated! It is designed to make brushing more fun and turns it into a game that encourages kids to cover all areas of their mouth and brush for the dentist recommended time of 2 minutes. Staying consistent with regular visits to the dentist – parents should take their children for regular check-ups with the dentist, so any problems can be identified earlier and extractions can be prevented. In general, it’s recommended that parents take children for their first check-up before their first birthday. And – don’t forget what you eat - fizzy drinks, sugary dishes, and unhealthy and too frequent snacks can be very bad for your teeth. Maintaining good oral health and establishing the right healthy habits early on will help children progress along the key ‘Strong Teeth’ milestones. They include their first dental visit, the arrival of their first tooth or teeth, and then the first time they use an electric power toothbrush (from age 3 onwards). Having a good oral health habits results in a healthy smile and that smile drives confidence, and that confidence is usually a key contributor to a better future for children. Join Oral-B during National Smile Month by implementing good oral health practice in your children. Remember, Strong Teeth Make Strong Kids!