MORE than 2,800 children under five — in Bolton already have tooth decay, according to the latest public heath figure.
The figure makes up 43.4 per cent of the borough's under fives.
Now youngsters are being taught how to take care of their teeth during National Smile Month.
The Bolton teeth team have been busy promoting brushing and good oral healthcare at schools across the borough.
The smiley-scheme is designed to tackle the high rate of tooth decay among nursery children in Bolton.
Pupils at Washacre Primary School enjoyed a fun, but educational day with the oral health team from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
Each child in reception were shown how to brush their teeth and given a free toothbrush and tube of toothpaste.
Pupils also had the chance to hop aboard the “Brush Bus” and take their own “Smile Selfies.” Jennifer Bridge, oral health educator, said: “The children loved learning about how to look after their teeth.
“It’s a common misconception that their baby teeth don’t matter because they get a second set.
“Yet we see about 60 children a month who are having to have teeth taken out under general anaesthetic. Baby teeth are so important for a child’s confidence, eating and speech.
“A lot of children don’t brush their teeth at home and some don’t even own a toothbrush or use their sibling’s, which is not good at all.
“Miss Bridge is part of the team rolling out the new Bolton’s Healthy Early Years Scheme where children brush their teeth once a day at their nursery.
She added: “When children brush their teeth altogether it makes it a much more fun exercise and ensures they’re getting fluoride on their teeth at least once a day.”