A new campaign to encourage Brits to adopt appropriate home-based oral health habits for their children has just been announced.

The #StrongTeethMakeStrongKids initiative is designed to reduce the number of children with toothache and dental problems .

Shocking research reveals that 23% of five-year-olds and nearly half (46%) of eight-year-olds in the UK have obvious tooth decay in their primary teeth.

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.

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: '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.'

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.'

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.

Jane Kidson, Oral-B Professional Team Leader UK & Ireland, said: '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.'

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.