In an effort to help children in South Yorkshire improve their dental hygiene, ten special support schools in Sheffield have introduced daily tooth brushing clubs and healthy eating regimes. Research revealed that children in need of special support at school were more likely to have their teeth extracted, although they have lower rates of tooth decay overall, compared to children at mainstream schools.
Sheffield City Council has implemented the brushing club, working with Public Health England and the NHS to improve oral health in the area. As well as joining the daily brushing club, children in special schools have also been enrolled in the School Starters Scheme, which means they are provided with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. The kids are also encouraged to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a check-up.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, the council’s cabinet member for Children, Young People and Families, spoke to the Yorkshire Post about the schemes, saying that it was undoubtedly a good idea to get children into a routine with their dental health, in order to prevent problems such as decay or gum disease, which could bring the rate of extraction down significantly. She also added ‘It’s great that, by working together, the council, health services, and special schools are introducing these excellent preventative measures.’