The City of Wolverhampton Council and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust are delivering a series of oral health initiatives for children and young people during National Smile Month, which begins today (Monday 13 May, 2024).

They include providing free toothbrushes and toothpaste through schools, training for Early Years professionals and targeted supervised brushing schemes.

Dental packs are being distributed via health visitors for toddlers and school nurses for reception age pupils, as well as across Early Years settings for all 3 to 4 year olds.

There will also be a competition for primary aged children to create a character that could be used in an oral health storybook for youngsters.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: “National Smile Month provides an opportunity to raise the awareness of good oral health. 

“Encouraging good oral health in our children is vital as tooth decay starts early in life – and those that have high levels of disease in their first teeth have an increased risk of disease in their permanent teeth. 

“Fortunately, most decay and oral diseases can be prevented or managed by healthy behaviours such as enjoying a healthy balanced diet and cleaning teeth and gums effectively, and so making sure children have access to effective and age appropriate dental products is essential.”

Schools which have received dental packs have reported positive feedback from parents, with one saying some children do not even have a toothbrush at home. Children are now excited to go home, brush their teeth and show their families their new toothbrush and toothpaste.

National Smile Month, organised by the Oral Health Foundation, runs until 13 June, 2024 and is the UK's biggest oral health campaign. For more information, please visit National Smile Month.