The Dentist Magazine.

Dental experts behind Brushlink welcome sugar reduction in children’s cereal

Published: 01/12/2017

Dental experts behind award-winning Brushlink, the dental care innovation, have welcomed the news that Kellogg’s UK is to cut the sugar content of three of its most popular children’s cereals by between 20 per cent and 40 per cent.

While the move has been made in response to consumer pressure around childhood obesity, there will be a knock-on benefit to the health of children’s teeth – which combined with a more widespread use of effective brushing techniques could result in a reduction in the number of children admitted to hospital for treatment for oral disease and tooth decay.

Dev Patel is founder and CEO of Brushlink. He said, “In 2014-15 some 40,970 surgical procedures were carried out on children for their teeth at a cost of £35 million, all to address a health problem which is entirely preventable. Figures released by NHS Digital showed that in the year to this March twice as many children under 10 were admitted to hospital for tooth decay as those treated for broken arms.

“Tooth decay and gum disease are almost entirely preventable by following a diet low in sugar and paying attention to good brushing technique. We know that it’s hard to get children to brush their teeth properly – in a recent survey carried out by us we found that half of the UK’s children tell their parents fibs about brushing their teeth, with barely a third of parents supervising their children’s brushing twice a day. But innovations such as Brushlink are great ways to encourage the whole family towards effective brushing, which is the bedrock of maintaining good oral health.

“We welcome this move by Kellogg’s to reduce the amount of sugar in Coco Pops, Rice Krispies and Rice Krispies Multi-Grain Shapes. It is an early and important step towards not just tackling childhood obesity, but improving children’s oral health too.”

Parents want to improve their children’s oral health – two-thirds of parents said they would be likely to buy a device that would provide information about how long and how well their children were brushing their teeth. Providing this sort of support to parents is one of the reasons why award-winning dentist Dr Dev Patel and his team of dental experts invented Brushlink – a dental coaching device and app.  The device is the first that can track and coach people on brushing frequency, duration and angles while making this data available to dentists if consented to – and it works with any toothbrush, manual or electric.

Brushlink has also been built to provide a brushing score each time it is used, which makes it great for families – parents and kids can compete with each other to see who is the ‘best brusher’. The score is displayed along with ‘in-brush’ coaching tips and hints via a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone app; however, it also stores data for up to three months in case the user does not have a phone in the bathroom.