A breakthrough for BRUSH Researchers investigating how best to implement supervised toothbrushing programmes across England are developing a toolkit which could help to address health inequalities caused by dental decay.


The BRUSH project has seen a team of researchers working with ARC Yorkshire and Humber to understand how best to implement supervised toothbrushing programmes in nurseries and schools across England to help tackle dental decay in young children.

A quarter of five-year-old children in England have tooth decay, a figure which can rise to 50% in deprived areas. The impact of decay is far-reaching, affecting self-esteem, speech, eating, sleeping, and quality of life. But it can also affect a child’s school attendance, impacting negatively on life outcomes. In England, treatment of decay is the most common reason why tens of thousands of young children are admitted to hospital, costing the NHS over £50 million, every year. But tooth decay is preventable through toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste and reducing sugar consumption.

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