A “BIG brush” campaign has been launched to encourage children to clean their teeth more often.

Oldham Council’s annual campaign has helped achieve the biggest oral health improvement – 16.1 per cent – across Greater Manchester in the under-fives age range this year, and bosses want to keep the momentum going.

A national survey measured the levels of dental decay in five-year-olds, the results of which ranked Oldham fourth amongst the 10 GM authorities for improvement – previously placed ninth.

Until Friday, November 30, the council is going further to stop the rot by organising brushing activities in children’s centres and libraries where participants will be rewarded with brushing tools including toothpaste, toothbrushes, timers and charts.

It will also be promoting as many schools, nurseries and other early years settings in Oldham to get involved in the Supervised Toothbrushing Programme for children aged two to five years.

It is part of the Greater Manchester Start Well programme which involves children getting a toothbrush to keep and they’ll be supervised brushing with family fluoride toothpaste every day.

So far, 145 nurseries and schools in Oldham have signed up to take part in this scheme.

Oldham Libraries are also offering a variety of fun and educational events including: Bedtime stories with Wee Willie Winkie and dental playbox sessions.

Places can be booked by visiting: www.oldham-council.co.uk/libevent/

Cllr Zahid Chauhan, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “We’re really keen to keep up the good work we are doing in improving children’s oral health as part of our oral health strategy – especially on the back of our great results earlier this year.

“We recognise there is still much to do though, particularly on narrowing the gap with the national average. But through a number of initiatives and campaigns, such as the Big Brush, this will help us to achieve our goals of improving our borough’s oral health.”

Oldham recently became the only borough across the city region to pilot the Greater Manchester Immunisation and Oral Health pilot. As part of this trial, children aged two and three attending some medical practices for the flu vaccination will receive a pack containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and key oral health advice.