YOUTUBE star The Singing Dentist is visiting Tameside to help pupils brush up on looking after their teeth.
For every 100 children in the borough, 33 will have lost at least one tooth to decay by the age of five.
And, there is a wealth of evidence to suggest that poor oral hygiene is linked to heart disease, stroke and lung conditions and, through sugar consumption, to increased risk of diabetes in later life. So the children of today who don’t brush their teeth, it seems, could be some of Tameside Hospital’s patients of the future.
To help tackle the issue, health bosses from Tameside Council and the hospital have decided to take the unique approach of calling on the nation’s favourite dentist.
Dr Milad Shadrooh, otherwise known as The Singing Dentist, doesn't only fill cavities and pull teeth - he also uploads videos of himself singing funny dental related parodies of popular songs to try to engage children in the importance of oral hygiene.
He has appeared on Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Lorraine and his videos – such as ‘Gappy’ a parody of Pharrell William’s ‘Happy’ - have gone viral, attracting more than180 million fans and followers.
Now, through his fun videos and ingenious and engaging ways as the Singing Dentist, Dr Shadrooh is hoping to make a real difference in raising awareness and behaviour change among reception class children across the country – and he’s starting his national challenge at Lyndhurst Primary School, in Dukinfield.
He will speak to the school assembly and then work with the reception class teacher to demonstrate and explain how brushing teeth properly twice a day can help prevent tooth decay in these 4/5 year olds. He will produce a two- minute video for the teacher to play every morning and just before home time to the class as the youngsters copy his technique. He will keep in regular contact through email with the teacher and at the end of the term he will revisit the school and the class to see if attitudes and behaviours have changed.
Dr Shadrooh explains: “Through disclosing tablets - chewable tablets that contain a vegetable dye which we dentists use to make dental plaque visible - I will be able to tell before and after results, and whether regular and proper teeth brushing among these little ones over a school term has made a difference. This is a social experiment and it will be significant as it hasn’t been done before, and the results will be shared with the Chief Dental Officer, the Health Secretary and others.”
Cllr Ged Cooney, Tameside Council’s executive member responsible for health, said: “We all know how much children love watching and sharing Youtube videos so The Singing Dentist is a really innovative and effective way of raising awareness of oral health. We’re delighted to be able to bring Dr Shadrooh’s unique and fun approach into Tameside classrooms and hope it will help encourage children to start developing good oral care habits from an early age.”
Karen James, Chief Executive at Tameside Hospital says she is delighted that Dr Shadrooh has chosen to begin his national challenge in the Borough. She says: “Great oral hygiene can avert so many health problems, including reducing the risk of heart disease or stroke and preventing or minimising the chances of diabetes. Teaching children while they are still young is the best way to instil lifelong good practice and I know the children will love his fun approach to tackling the challenge.”
Notes to Editors
· A third of all children starting school each year have signs of tooth decay. Tooth extractions are the biggest reason children are admitted to hospital for general anaesthetics in the UK.
· Sugar makes up 15% of the daily calories consumed by four to ten year olds.
· In England, children and young people drink sugary soft drinks more often than anywhere else in Europe.
· There has been an almost 20 per cent (19.6) increase in children being admitted to hospital with tooth decay between 2010 and 2015.
· Roughly 40% of children still do not visit the dentist each year.
Source Oral Health Foundation
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