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Published on Wednesday, 20th June 2018 in Council news news

Kind hearted Rotherham folk have donated thousands of toothbrushes following a month long appeal.

As part of National Smile Month Rotherham Council urged people to donate toothbrushes and fluoride toothpaste to foodbanks to help combat childhood tooth decay in Rotherham.

This followed revelations that nationally record numbers of children are having rotten teeth extracted. Nearly one in three children aged five in Rotherham has had tooth decay at some point. This is higher than the national average.

This is because children are consuming three times more sugar than is recommended through snacks and sugary drinks.

Boxes for donations were placed in Council buildings across the borough, Healthwatch and Rotherham Community Health Centre with many people taking up the cause including dental firms from across Rotherham.

The Rotherham Local Dental Committee decided to make a contribution to the cause from all the dentists of Rotherham, donating 1,100 toothbrushes in all shapes and sizes and 1,100 tubes of fluoride toothpaste suitable for both adults and children.

Dentist Steve Thompson, who is the Chair of Rotherham Local Dental Committee and who works at Bramley Dental Practice in Bramley, said: “We believe this will make a real difference to the children of Rotherham which is why we decided to chip in and donate ourselves to this cause.

“Tooth decay is almost entirely preventable. We would encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar intake and bring them in for regular check-ups even before their first teeth appear.”

He added brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay.

Cllr David Roche, Cabinet Member for Public Health at Rotherham Council added: “I want to thank all the fantastic kind hearted people in Rotherham who went out of their way to donate to this very worthwhile cause. And thanks too to the Rotherham Local Dental Committee for their extremely generous donation.

“I hope these donations will help families to encourage them to brush their children’s teeth regularly; to cut down on sugary drinks and foods and to take their children to the dentist for regular check-ups from before they are even one years old.

“If we can stop just one more child having to have their teeth removed under general anaesthetic because people have listened to our messages then this is a job worth doing.”

The campaign for donations began after it was revealed that for some families it can be a struggle to be able to afford even basics like toothbrushes and toothpaste. The toothbrushes and tooth paste will now be distributed between foodbanks and vulnerable families so the donations reach those that need them most.

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