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News / November 17, 2010

Toothday to fight tooth decay

by Guy Hiscott

The Dental Health Foundation, in collaboration with Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline), the National Dairy Council and the Irish Dental Association, is launching the first national Toothday on Tuesday 30 November 2010.

Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood.

Children in the Republic of Ireland are among the highest consumers of foods and drinks sweetened with sugar when compared with 34 other countries (World Health Organization).

Given their unfavourable dietary habits and average or below average frequency of brushing, the aim of Toothday is to raise awareness about the importance of good oral health among children.

This is being done in two ways – by encouraging children to brush their teeth twice a day and making them aware of tooth friendly snacks and drinks.

Junior and senior infants’ classes in schools around the country are being supplied with goodie packs containing a tube of Aquafresh toothpaste and a certificate to encourage the child to commit to twice daily toothbrushing.

Teachers are being invited to download a PowerPoint presentation on ‘The Tooth’, which that they can deliver quickly and easily to their class.

The presentation, which will be available on the Dental Health Foundation website from 19 November, is in a child-friendly format and teaches them how to look after their teeth through a combination of regular tooth brushing and a tooth friendly diet.

As part of the activities for Toothday, children will be encouraged to visit their dentist on a regular basis.

A spokesperson for the Dental Health Foundation commented: ’Along with our partners in this important initiative, we are delighted to be taking such a positive step to improve the oral health of children in Ireland. It is through cost effective initiatives like this that a real difference can be made in promoting good oral health and well-being.’

The Dental Health Foundation envisages that Toothday will be delivered annually in collaboration with Aquafresh (GlaxoSmithKline), the National Dairy Council and the Irish Dental Association.