Cllr Nick Forbes, Senior Vice Chair of the Local Government Association, responds to a survey by YouGov commissioned by Playbrush showing that three in five parents in Britain say their children brush their teeth for 90 seconds or less, below the two minutes recommended by dentists.
“Untreated dental care remains one of the most prevalent diseases affecting children and young people’s ability to speak, eat, play and socialise.
“Councils, who have responsibility for public health, have previously warned that last year the NHS had to perform over 43,000 operations - 170 a day - to remove teeth in children and teenagers in hospital.
“There must be a reinvestment in innovative oral health education so that parents and children understand the impact of sugar on teeth and the importance of a good oral hygiene regime.
“These figures also highlight how proper cleaning and regular check-ups at a dentist can help prevent tooth decay and the need for hospital treatment.
“It is essential that parents regularly take their children to the dentist as soon as their baby has their first tooth or turns one – whichever is sooner”.
Notes to editors
- The LGA’s publication, ‘Tackling poor oral health in children’.