Oral-B introduces its campaign to support parents and help kids develop a lifetime of good oral care habits.

Shocking research findings have revealed that 23% of five-year-olds (Eskyte et al, 2018) and nearly half (46%) of eight-year-olds in the UK (Gray-Burrows et al, 2016) have obvious tooth decay in their primary teeth. Also, it was found that sadly, 35% of 12-year-old children are too embarrassed to smile or laugh6 due to the condition of their teeth.

These issues are particularly prevalent in UK children due to many factors, including poor oral care habits and nutrition. Also, Oral-B knows that using the right products, at the right frequency, with good supervision can have an impact on the oral health of children.

Help through research and education: for parents – for children

Oral-B is on a mission to support UK parents/carers adopt appropriate home-based oral health behaviours and thereby reduce the number of children with toothache and dental problems – all through its #StrongTeethMakeStrongKids-campaign.

The oral health experts from Oral-B and the University of Leeds, have launched a research and education programme to give dental professionals and parents the right support to prevent these dental health issues from now on. Peter Day, associate professor and consultant in paediatric dentistry at the University of Leeds, said about the research: ‘Our research explored how dental teams can best support parents of young children to adopt appropriate oral health behaviours at home. We have examined the literature and undertaken qualitative interviews and focus groups to identify the challenges parents and dental teams face. These findings have provided the blueprint for strong teeth oral health intervention.’

Why a healthy mouth is so important for UK kids

Asked about the situation in the UK, Peter Days adds: ‘In my clinic, I see far too many young children with dental decay. Unfortunately, many will have had toothache, sleepless nights, disturbed eating patterns and time off school and nursery. We know children with decay in their baby teeth are much more likely to develop decay in their permanent teeth. Establishing toothbrushing and healthy eating habits in early childhood is a strong predictor for oral health in adult life.’

In response to this, Oral-B is on a mission to support UK parents adopt appropriate home-based oral health behaviours and thereby reduce the number of children with dental problems.

Oral-B launches #StrongTeethMakeStrongKids campaign

Oral-B’s ‘Strong teeth make strong kids’ programme aims to educate and support parents on how they can help their children develop the right habits, as well as lay down a strong foundation for good oral health – for a healthy and confident smile for life.

‘We are working closely with the UK’s dental professionals by aiming to provide up to 20,000 dental professionals this year with simple and engaging educational materials for parents and their children during routine check-ups. Oral-B is committed to take on this challenge to sustainably improve the situation in the UK’, says Jane Kidson, Oral-B professional team leader UK & Ireland.

Combined with the right dental care products, these positive oral health messages are designed to encourage parents to lead the way, so they can see that these oral health issues are mostly preventable with simple changes to their families’ daily oral care routine.

Here is a snapshot of the brand’s educational materials that dental professionals can use to support the conversations that they are having with parents/carers. Such materials include:

  1. Brushing from first tooth to five years
  2. Friends and family can support healthy habits
  3. Make brushing fun for children
  4. Healthy eating can help protect teeth.

There’s more to good oral care than meets the eye

Maintaining good oral health and establishing the right healthy habits early on will help children progress along the key ‘Strong teeth’ milestones. They include their first dental visit, the arrival of their first tooth or teeth, and then the first time they use an electric power toothbrush (from age three onwards). Having good oral health habits result in a healthy smile and that smile drives confidence, and that confidence is usually a key contributor to a better future for children.

About Oral-B

Oral-B is a specialist in the over $5 billion brushing market. Part of the Procter & Gamble company, the brand includes manual and electric toothbrushes for children and adults, oral irrigators and interdental products, such as dental floss. Oral-B manual toothbrushes are used by more dentists than any other brand in the US and many international markets.

About Procter & Gamble

P&G serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always, Ambi Pur, Ariel, Bounty, Charmin, Crest, Dawn, Downy, Fairy, Febreze, Gain, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Lenor, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene, SK-II, Tide, Vicks, and Whisper. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit www.pg.co.uk for the latest news and information about P&G and its brands.

About the University of Leeds study

Oral-B wanted to understand the fundamental and systematic issues that brought about the UK’s child dental health situation, and funded an extensive study with the University of Leeds, analysing how dental teams can best support parents of young children to adopt appropriate oral health behaviours. Leeds has strong research expertise in the design and evaluation of complex oral health interventions (Eskyte et al, 2018; Gray-Burrows et al, 2016). The findings from the Oral-B-funded study provided the blueprint for the Strong Teeth oral health intervention, including the creation of vital ready-to-use educational materials that Oral-B will provide to dental professionals across the country.

References for University of Leeds complex intervention studies

Eskyte I, Gray-Burrows K, Owen J, Sykes-Muskett B, Zoltie T, Gill S, Smith V, Mceachan R, Marshman Z, West R, Pavitt S and Day P (2018) HABIT-an early phase study to explore an oral health intervention delivered by health visitors to parents with young children aged 9-12 months: study protocol. Pilot Feasibility Stud 4: 68

Gray-Burrows K, Day PF, Marshman Z, Aliakbari E, Prady SL and Mceachan RRC (2016) Using intervention mapping to develop a home-based parental supervised toothbrushing intervention for young children. Implement Sci 11: 61