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£1.9 million to help children from deprived areas brush up on oral health

06 Mar 2017

A new research project working with schools in South Yorkshire will investigate ways of improving the oral health of young people living in deprived areas.

Researchers will work with 48 schools and nearly 6000 young people in England, Scotland and Wales on the four-year Brushing Reminder 4 Good Oral Health (BRIGHT) initiative.

BRIGHT, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will investigate whether a classroom-based lesson about dental health followed by a series of text messages could increase how often and how well children aged 11-16 years brush their teeth – and ultimately reduce levels of tooth decay.

In each school, one class will receive the talk and a series of text messages, while another will not. The team will collect information on tooth decay, frequency of brushing, and the impact decay has on the children’s lives to determine whether those in the programme develop better oral health habits than those who don’t participate.

The project is led by the University of Dundee in collaboration with the University of Sheffield. The team will work with colleagues from the Universities of Leeds and Cardiff and the York Trials Unit on the project.

Dr Zoe Marshman, Reader in Dental Public Health at the University of Sheffield, said: “We welcome the opportunity to help children in secondary schools in deprived areas achieve good dental health which can then be maintained throughout their lives.”

“To do this we are working with children, parents and school staff together with an expert team of researchers in dentistry, health economics, psychology, education, digital technology and trials.”

Additional Information

More information about the project can be found at https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta/1516608/#/

This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research [HTA] (15/166/08)

The National Institute for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world.

For further information, visit the NIHR website: www.nihr.ac.uk

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

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