Children are being encouraged to become Brilliant Brushers – and help tackle tooth decay in Wolverhampton.

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, and the most common reason for hospital admissions among 5 to 9 year olds.

It is caused by frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks and it can affect a child’s ability to sleep, eat, speak and socialise, while also resulting in missed days from school. 

In Wolverhampton, a quarter of children aged 5 have visible signs of tooth decay, and in some parts of the city it can affect as many as 1 in 3 youngsters.

To tackle this, the City of Wolverhampton Council has commissioned The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s Special Dental Care Team to deliver the ‘Brilliant Brushers’ scheme in local nurseries and early years settings in Wolverhampton, enabling children to take part in daily supervised toothbrushing programme. 10 have signed up, with a further 5 joining in the coming weeks.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: “Brushing teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day is highly effective in preventing tooth decay, so establishing regular toothbrushing at an early age can make a big difference. 

“Supervised toothbrushing schemes are one way of reaching this age group and of teaching them the simple ways they can look after their teeth.

“We are delighted nurseries and early years settings are embracing the Brilliant Brushers programme, teaching and supporting their children to brush their teeth from a young age.”

Laura Ceaser-Kennedy, Dental Therapist and Oral Health Promoter with The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “In parts of Wolverhampton, a third of children have had some form of experience of tooth decay, and we don't want them to experience that. Through the Brilliant Brushers programme, we have provided thorough training so children can brush their teeth in nursery every day under the supervision of the nursery staff and care workers.

Michelle Lester, manager of Sunflowers Day Nursery in Wolverhampton, added: “We have noticed over recent years more and more children presenting with poor oral health, and parents have been so positive about the Brilliant Brushers scheme.”