Helping children from deprived areas with oral health

A new research project funded by the NIHR HTA Programme will investigate ways of improving the oral health of young people living in deprived areas.

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The researchers from the Universities of Dundee and Sheffield will work with 48 schools and nearly 6000 young people in Scotland, England and Wales on the four-year Brushing Reminder 4 Good Oral Health (BRIGHT) initiative.

BRIGHT will investigate whether a classroom-based lesson about dental health followed by a series of text messages could increase how often and how well children aged 11-16 brush their teeth – and ultimately reduce levels of tooth decay.

In each school, one class will receive the talk and a series of text messages, while another will not. The team will collect information on tooth decay, frequency of brushing, and the impact decay has on the children’s lives to determine whether those in the programme develop better oral health habits than those who don’t participate.

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