CHILDREN are receiving dental packs as part of an oral health campaign launched by City of York Council.

Kits, which include a toothbrush, a tooth brushing reward chart and a two-minute sand timer, are being given out through some of the city’s children’s centres and reception classes.

During 2013/14, 255 young people aged between 0 and 19 were admitted to hospital for teeth extractions in York; 48 of these were aged between 0 and four.

The four top tips being promoted to the city’s children and parents are:

1. Brush your child's teeth for them twice a day for two minutes

2. Supervise brushing until your child is at least seven years old

3. Reduce the frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks

4. Take your child to the dentist for regular check ups from when their first tooth appears.

York dentist Ben Underwood, who developed the nationally available Brush DJ app to help parents encourage children to clean their teeth, is backing the campaign.

He said: “I am delighted to see City of York Council raising awareness of the importance of a good oral health routine for children.

"It is always concerning to see children with poor dental health and even worse to see them suffering the pain of tooth decay.

“Encouraging children to clean their teeth can be a challenge, but it is really important for their future health and wellbeing."

As part of the research for the campaign, parents in York were asked a series of questions about their children’s oral health.

The challenges of getting children to clean their teeth were the main issues raised, while tips included distraction techniques such as singing songs and counting.

City of York Council’s executive member for adult social care and health, Cllr Carol Runciman, said: “Brushing your child's teeth is an important part of their daily routine so they continue the healthy habit as they get older.

"Taking them to regular dental appointments is also important to ensure their oral health is maintained."