Nursery doing daily toothbrushing sessions

A woman smiles at two grinning children brushing their teeth
Wolverhampton has the highest percentage of children with decayed or missing teeth in the country (generic pic) [Getty Images]

A nursery is holding daily toothbrushing sessions for its children to help improve dental hygiene.

Sunflowers Day Nursery in Wolverhampton has been carrying out the sessions for 10 months, with preschool supervisor Kerry Burden telling the BBC "it's a really good thing for the children".

Wolverhampton has the highest percentage of children with decayed or missing teeth in the country - its figure is 43%, compared to the national average of 23%.

Last month, Labour promised to create 100,000 extra dental appointments for children in a bid to clear backlogs in England.

Ms Burden told BBC WM: "We have noticed a decline, especially in the past couple of years.

"We've even had children sent to hospital to actually have teeth removed at the age of three over poor hygiene and lack of parental knowledge about dental care."

The nursery was contacted by Wolverhampton's oral health team in September, to see if they would take part in a supervised toothbrushing team.

With parental consent, it means children are encouraged to brush their teeth at nursery every day, in addition to twice at home.

An alarm goes off every day, with the children brushing their teeth for two minutes while listening to a song.

"It's a really good thing for the children, we've even noticed that parents are probably getting their children to brush their teeth at home a little easier because it's part of the nursery routine now," Ms Burden said.

'It's endemic'

Doctor Neel Barchha, a principal dental surgeon at Willows Dental & Implant Centre in Wolverhampton, told the BBC that dental health in the region was getting worse.

"It's brilliant these initiatives are taking place, but the most important thing we need to look at is diet," he said.

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