Summer Campaign Aims to Improve Kids’ Toothbrushing Habits

Dentistry Today


Though everyone should brush their twice for at least two minutes twice a day, 18% of children in England only brush once a day, and 2% fail to brush every day, according to Simplyhealth Professionals. Also, 24.7% of five-year-olds already have tooth decay. That’s why the company is launching its fifth annual Big Family Brush-Up campaign, which will run through August 31, to help families brush together and establish proper oral hygiene routines.

“As the UK’s leading provider of dental payment plans, we want to help parents to establish good brushing habits at the earliest opportunity to help give children the best start in life, as well as providing easy and accessible information to support parents,” said Dr. Catherine Rutland, head dental officer at Simplyhealth Professionals.

The Big Family Brush-Up challenges families to focus on their brushing practices for a four-week period during the summer to ensure children are brushing thoroughly for two minutes twice a day. Children can fill in a brushing chart downloaded from the campaign’s website every morning and night when they brush to keep track of their progress. Once the four weeks are complete, Simplyhealth Professionals hopes that families will continue these routines. 

The campaign’s website also offers oral health information including the Little Book of Healthy Smiles, which provides dental advice and brushing tips from other parents; a step-by-step animated video that teaches kids how to brush; and blogs and social media competitions. The campaign also offers resources for its member practices to use in promoting oral health. TV host and mother of three Julia Bradbury will be the campaign’s ambassador as well.

“Improving childhood brushing habits are fast becoming a focus for many national and regional initiatives. Supervised brushing schemes such as Childsmile and Teeth Team, the latter of which is supported by Simplyhealth, have been introduced into nurseries and schools to help tackle childhood tooth decay and inequalities,” said Rutland, adding that the London Assembly has recommended that all primary school children be taught how to clean their teeth properly by their teachers. 

“As a dental professional, you’ll know that even with the best intentions, getting children to brush thoroughly and regularly can be a challenge in many households. Parents are often at their wits’ end trying to get their youngsters to brush their teeth, and children are often very creative at devising ways to avoid brushing. In fact, two-thirds of parents surveyed by Simplyhealth (64%) said that getting their children to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day is a challenge,” said Rutland. 

“Taking part in a brushing challenge such as the Big Family Brush-Up can provide parents with a new approach to tackle teeth brushing and inspire children to discover that brushing can be fun and rewarding,” said Rutland.

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