New children’s dental health campaign launches in Doncaster
A new dental health campaign, which encourages children to choose healthy drinks, has launched in Doncaster.
The Kind to Teeth campaign is part of the Give Up Loving Pop (GULP) initiative, which raises awareness of the benefits of making healthy drinks choices. The campaign urges parents, carers and children to replace fizzy pop and sugary drinks with water, milk and sugar-free alternatives.
Tooth decay is the most common cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK. In Doncaster, the proportion of children with decay is far higher than the national average. In 2019, 23.4% of 5-year-olds in England had signs of dental decay. In Doncaster, the figure was 37%.
The Kind to Teeth scheme was developed by dentists, early years specialists and nutritionists. Guidance recommends breastmilk and infant formula milk for babies followed by milk and water for young children. The campaign aims to encourage parents and children to opt for healthier sources of hydration and limit the intake of fizzy drinks and shop-bought products that contain a lot of added sugar, such as juices.
Director of public health at Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, Rupert Suckling, said that the early years are a “fantastic window of opportunity to influence healthy food and drink patterns.” The Kind to Teeth campaign helps to educate parents about the implications of consuming sugary drinks and emphasises the benefits of milk and water. Excessive sugar consumption increases the risk of dental disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The campaign has been backed by the British Dental Association. Dr Russ Ladwa, chair of the Health and Science Committee, described the programme as “fantastic” and said that swapping sugary drinks for water is a “cheap way to help your children maintain a healthy smile.”
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