A quarter of children around the world are not brushing their teeth day and night, with a 5% reduction in twice-daily brushing for parents, and a staggering 11% drop in children in comparison to two years ago, according to a new global study commissioned by Pepsodent.

The research that surveyed nearly 7,000 participants from eight countries and 15 dentists from three countries revealed an expanded challenge in how adults and children alike view oral care.

Seven in 10 people say they have been focusing more on their physical and mental health but not oral care while two in three (64%) people admitted they are not worried about their oral health despite 70% having experienced oral care issues such as tooth pain and cavities since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The research also shows that parents’ poor oral habits impact their children. Children are seven times more likely to skip teeth brushing if their parent does not brush day and night and experts agree maintaining a day and night brushing routine is vital.

Dr Paapa Puplampu, President, Ghana Dental Association explains, “Tooth decay is the most widespread disease globally and dental cavities are prevalent amongst children. These are easily preventable by establishing a regular routine to brush both day and night with fluoride toothpaste.

“The research findings from Pepsodent reinforce the importance of parents prioritising their own oral health since children mimic their habits.”

However, the research found that three in five (61%) parents let their child eat sugary foods before bed, whilst one in three (35%) parents have told their child they did not need to brush their teeth as a reward.

Surveyed dentists agreed that change in parents’ routines, as well as the added stress from the pandemic has changed children’s oral care habits hence the need for parents to be more deliberate in guiding their children’s day and night brushing routines.