The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has released a set of new guidelines, which will encourage both schools and nurseries to help children brush their teeth.
Under the new rules, children from the age of 3 to 10 will be supervised by schools when brushing their teeth, for two minutes twice a day. Pupils will also receive a toothbrush and toothpaste to take home with them.
Professor Elizabeth Kay, Foundation Dean for the Peninsula Dental School at Plymouth University and one of the authors of the guidelines, hopes that the new measures will go some way to addressing oral health concerns.
Professor Kay said: “It is important to encourage local authorities to take a greater role in helping to prevent tooth decay. There is a clear lack of understanding of just how serious dental disease is. Tooth decay and gum disease are entirely preventable, and yet we are seeing figures such as 25,000 little children having body parts removed because of disease we know how to prevent.
“It would be great if every school and nursery across the country took the guidelines on board and delivered them. They are in no way an excuse for parents to stop supervising their child’s oral health routine at home. It is hoped these guidelines will help to reverse the level of tooth decay in children and safeguard the oral health of future generations.”