Parents and carers of toddlers aged one and over across Bradford and Airedale are being invited to bin their baby’s bottle as part of a bid to improve the oral health of babies and young children.
Launching on 16 January, the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the effects that prolonged bottle use can have on a child’s dental health. Parents are encouraged to attend one of numerous exchange points to collect a free oral health pack, including a free-flowing feeder cup, to replace their old bottles.
The Community Dental service from Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Better Start Bradford to launch the ‘Bradford Babies Bin the Bottle’ campaign. Together, they have set up exchange points across the district for six weeks, from 16 January-25 February, including Community Dental Clinics, Barkerend Family Hub and Holmewood Health Centre.
At each location, parents and carers will be able to collect a free toothbrush and toothpaste pack, as well as their free-flowing feeder cup. At some manned exchange locations, there will also be oral health improvement staff on-hand to offer expert advice and dentists to offer free dental checks for toddlers who come along with their parents.
Sharon Walker, Oral Health Improvement Lead at the Care Trust, explains why making the change is so important: “Ideally, and where possible, babies will be breastfed in the first years of their lives, but we do know many will be using bottles.
“If you are using a bottle, once your child reaches the age of one you should try to encourage them to use a free-flowing feeder cup instead.
“Drinks flow much slower through a bottle meaning a baby’s teeth are in contact with the sweetened substance for longer, which can increase the chance of tooth decay. Swapping to a cup will therefore reduce this risk. They don’t need to use a bottle at all if they are breastfed, they can move straight onto a cup.
“Although it might be hard at first and maybe a little messy, it will also help them to learn how to sip rather than suck and your baby will gradually learn how to drink from an open cup.
“We would love to see all parents and carers of little ones come along to one of our exchanges and bin their babies’ bottles, while finding out more about how to best look after their little ones’ teeth.”
Gill Thornton, Head of Programme, Better Start Bradford said: “In Bradford, around two in every five children have tooth decay by the age of five, so it is vitally important that families are aware how they can support their babies and young children to maintain good oral health habits.
“‘Bin the Bottle’ is one very important key message out of many, and we are thrilled to be supporting Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust with this campaign this year.”
The list of manned locations where families can collect their free oral health pack, speak to the Oral Health Improvement team champions and get a dental check are as follows:
- Barkerend Family Hub, BD3 8QX – 18 January, 12.00pm to 1.45pm
- St John’s Clinic, BD4 8TU – 24 January, 1.00pm-3.30pm
- Strongclose, BD21 4LW – 25 January, 8.45am-9.10am and 12.30-12.50pm (Please note, there will be no dentists or dental checks available at this clinic)
- Homewood Health Centre, BD4 9EJ – 1 February, 9.30am-12.30pm
- Farcliffe Children’s Centre, BD8 8QH – 2 February, 9.30am-4.00pm
- Royds Healthy Living Centre, BD6 3UD – 6 February, 9.30am-12.30pm
Get the full list of exchange points and locations, please visit https://www.bdct.nhs.uk/bradford-babies-bin-the-bottle/.
For support with breastfeeding, please visit www.betterliveshealthyfuturesbw.nhs.uk/learning_resource/breastfeeding/.