Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy have worked with families in the city to develop an animated film encouraging young children to look after their teeth.

Set in the town of Toothville; Timmy Toothbrush and Tracey Toothpaste save teeth ‘Isaac’, ‘Chloe’, ‘Mo’ and ‘Meg’ from Peter Plaque by showing us what we need to do to keep our teeth clean and healthy.

The video was created with input from parents and children at Milton Family Hub who provided feedback on various ideas and outlined during focus groups what oral health advice they were aware of. The parents also detailed the challenges in encouraging their children to look after their teeth.

Tooth decay is the most common disease of childhood with a child in England having a rotten tooth removed in hospital every 10 minutes and it being the most common reason for hospital admissions in 5 to 9 year olds. Despite these statistics, tooth decay is preventable through simple everyday measures.  

The video was created using funding from Public Health England following a competitive bid.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at Portsmouth City Council, said; "The University is a key partner so I'm really pleased that we've been able to work with the Dental Academy and utilise their expertise in dental health to produce a video teaching children and parents the best ways to look after their teeth.”

"We know it can be a struggle for parents to encourage their children to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible, and to brush their teeth twice a day, but hopefully the characters in this fun video will help them learn why it's so important."

Professor Chris Louca, Director and Head of the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy, said; “I am very pleased to see this successful collaboration between Dr Kristina Wanyonyi, Research Lead of the Dental Academy, and Claire Currie, Public Health Consultant at Portsmouth City Council. I am also very grateful for the input from the families and children of Portsmouth involved in the project. I am sure that the video based animation will successfully engage the attention of young children and thereby contribute to improvements in their dental health.”

Visit www.portsmouth.gov.uk/toothville to watch the video and for details of the University of Portsmouth Dental Academy who provide free dental check-ups and treatment for children under 18 years old.