Too much sugar and poor oral hygiene is causing tooth decay in hundreds of children as young as three.
And with the start of National Smile Month this week, Wakefield Council is backing a campaign to help toddlers brush up on their tooth care.
Oral hygiene experts will visit the district’s libraries next week to deliver fun and interactive sessions for pre-school children, on how to look after their teeth.
The sessions will include story time with books to borrow, a sing-a-long and crafts, focusing on tooth care and healthy drinks.
It is hoped they will help tackle high levels of tooth decay in the district.
Coun Pat Garbutt, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for adults and health, said: “Taking care of your teeth from a young age is vitally important.
“By the age of three children in our district have, on average, two to three decayed, missing or filled teeth. By the age of five, one in five children are above a healthy weight.
“With children eating three times as much sugar as they should, this is causing worrying levels of tooth decay and excess weight gain.
“We need to educate young children and their parents at an early stage on the importance of good oral health care and the affect that sugar has on our health.
“The sessions are fun and interactive and happening in libraries across the district. Come along to keep the little ones entertained whilst learning important skills for life.”
Experts will be on hand to speak to at the events, so families can get help and advice and there will be information leaflets to take away.
The sessions will take place as follows:
• Monday 23 May, Airedale library, 10 - 11am
• Tuesday 24 May, South Elmsall library, 9.30 - 11am
• Thursday 26 May, Featherstone library, 9.30 - 10.30am
• Friday 27 May, Hemsworth library, 10 - 10.30am
National Smile Month, which began on May 16, encourages healthy eating and drinking, regular tooth brushing and visiting the dentist regularly. For more information about visit www.nationalsmilemonth.org