For a second year, Denplan is running ‘The Big Summer Brush-Up’ to encourage families to make the most of the summer holidays to visit the dentist and spend time practising brushing techniques with their children. The national PR campaign is running for two months throughout July and August and Denplan is encouraging member practices to take part. This year, the PR campaign also features the inspiring Katie Piper, who will act as the campaign’s celebrity Mum ambassador.
A survey of parents of children aged 1-11 from Denplan, has revealed that almost a third (30%) of parents think that it is acceptable for a child to have experienced tooth decay before they have reached their teenage years.
According to the survey many parents try a multitude of methods to help their children manage their oral health effectively. However, 30% of parents surveyed stated that they think it is acceptable for a child to develop tooth decay due to the difficulty in controlling how effectively they clean their teeth on a daily basis.
Difficulties regulating children’s sugar consumption was also cited as a reason why many parents now accept tooth decay. Over a quarter (26%) of parents surveyed admit this with a further 29% of parents surveyed believing that potentially painful oral health conditions, such as tooth decay, are pre-determined by a family history of oral health complaints and weak teeth.
Worryingly, more than 1 in 10 parents (14%) claim that they think that decay in children’s teeth is acceptable as all children will inevitably lose their milk teeth as they develop.
These statistics come as the government announced plans to introduce a sugar tax on the soft drinks industry, due to come into effect by 2018. Denplan’s research suggests that the tax could be warmly welcomed by parents with almost half (45%) of parents surveyed claiming that they believe that tooth decay can be prevented by limiting the amount of sugar in a child’s diet. A further 40% of parents believe that tooth decay can be prevented by ensuring that children regularly see their dentist for a check-up. Despite this, when asked what actions they take to prevent their child developing decay just 1 in 5 (18%) of parents said that they take their child to see the dentist once a year as soon as their first tooth appears.
Henry Clover, Chief Dental Officer at Denplan comments: “As the poor state of children’s oral health continues to dominate the headlines, and dental caries continues to be one of the most common chronic (but also largely preventable) diseases in UK children, Denplan will continue to champion improvements in children’s oral health.
“Whilst parents have the best of intentions with their children’s dental health, the research shows that it can be hard for parents to keep up good habits amongst a backdrop of hidden sugars in our food and drinks and children’s reluctance to follow a good oral health routine. Denplan’s Big Summer Brush-Up campaign, along with the accompanying materials Denplan has produced has been created to help practices support and guide families on their oral healthcare. Providing the right advice and encouragement from an early age or even from when a child’s first tooth appears, could make a lifetime of difference when it comes to their oral health.”
Denplan’s ‘Little Book of Healthy Smiles’ has been produced, containing handy advice from dentists and tips on how to enthuse unwilling children to brush up on cleaning teeth, written for parents by parents. For further information and downloadable content such as a brushing chart and the Little Book of Healthy Smiles visit www.bigsummerbrushup.co.uk.
Full press release on www.denplan.co.uk