Schools in Barnsley to offer toothbrushing clubs to tackle decay rates

Barnsley Council is set to fund the clubs in schools, family hubs and other childcare settings. Credit: PA

Schools in Barnsley will start offering "toothbrushing clubs" for pupils after research found that nearly a third of five-year-olds in the town have decay.Barnsley Council is set to fund the supervised clubs at schools, family hubs and other childcare settings to help young children understand why brushing should be part of their daily routine. Staff will be given training and equipment.

Cllr Wendy Cain, council cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "Poor oral health can lead to pain and infection, resulting in sleepless nights, difficulty eating and time off nursery or school.“Tooth decay is preventable, and the supervised toothbrushing clubs will be effective in reducing tooth decay, by complementing toothbrushing at home.”It comes after a report by Healthwatch Barnsley found more than 60% of respondents had been unable to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the last two years. Yorkshire and the Humber has some of the highest decay-related tooth extractions in the country. On average there are 405 tooth extractions per 100,000 people aged under 19, compared with the national average of 236.

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