Something's rotten in Rotherham! Call for dental donations after rise in tooth decay

DENTISTS are urging people to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste to help scrub out childhood tooth decay, which is rampant in Rotherham.
Dentist Steve Thompson checks the teeth of Josephina Thompson (2).Dentist Steve Thompson checks the teeth of Josephina Thompson (2).
Dentist Steve Thompson checks the teeth of Josephina Thompson (2).

Nationally, record numbers of children are having rotten teeth extracted, as a result of consuming three times more sugar than recommended.

Figures for Rotherham are even higher than the national average, with nearly one in three children aged five having experienced tooth decay.

Dentist Steve Thompson, chair of Rotherham Local Dental Committee, said: “It is frustrating having to send very young children for general anaesthetics in order to have their teeth extracted.

“One of the reasons for this is because parents are leaving it too late to bring their children to the dentist for their first check-up.

“I would urge parents to bring their children in before the age of one, as then we can then teach them about how to brush their child’s teeth when they appear, with fluoride toothpaste, and give advice on diet and what causes tooth decay.”

As part of National Smile Month, which began this week, Rotherham Borough Council is asking residents to donate fluoride toothpaste and brushes to foodbanks, to help reverse the rot.

The authority is also working with children’s centres, alongside the Rotherham Foundation Trust 0-19 Integrated Public Health Nursing Service, to promote dental hygiene.

Cllr David Roche, the council’s cabinet member for public health, said: “Children are not born with rotten and decaying teeth\!q — this comes as a result of lifestyle choices.

“We need to act now so we can help reverse these worrying statistics so future generations can have healthy sets of teeth.”

Donations of toothpaste and brushes can be dropped off at council headquarters Riverside House and children’s centres, as well as foodbanks.

National Smile Month runs from May 14 to June 14 — activities and information will be on offer from all children’s centres across the borough. 

Visit to find a local children’s centre.

  • HOMELESS people will be given free teeth check-ups at a dental workshop tomorrow. Staff from Dinnington Dental Practice will be offering advice, free toothpaste samples and toothbrushes at Shiloh in Station Road, Masbrough, from 9.30am tomorrow.