A new campaign has launched in Leeds to encourage families to look after the oral health of young children, with the aim of reducing a wide range of health problems which could face them in later life.
Leeds City Council’s ‘Leeds Smiles’ campaign will help families to take good care of little teeth, with tips for parents and carers along with fun games and activities to make brushing fun for little ones.
Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England, but it is largely preventable. Leeds is targeting areas with highest amount of tooth decay in children, to get smiles brighter.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
We know there are huge differences in oral health across the UK, but this is matched with big differences across Leeds. I’m determined that people in Leeds get a chance to live healthy lives, and providing good advice and information is a key way in which we can do this.
We are committed to targeting our resources where they will make the most difference and help the people with the worst health make improvements. I hope everyone will keep an eye open for this campaign and take notice of the messages – it isn’t just the campaign we want to have real teeth – it’s young people as they grow older!
Although children’s oral health has improved over the past 20 years, almost a third of five year olds still had tooth decay in 2012, and it was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged five to nine years in 2012 to 2013. Poor oral health can affect children and young people’s ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children. It can also cause pain, infections, and impaired nutrition and growth.
Taking care of children’s teeth as soon as soon as they get their first tooth, will help to make sure they stay healthy as they grow older.
For Leeds Smiles campaign materials, tips and advice for parents and carers, and fun games and activities to make brushing fun for little ones, go to www.leedssmiles.co.uk