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ONE in eight Sunderland mums say their children have at least three fillings, research reveals.

The shocking study also showed 40 per cent of youngsters under 12 across the city have been told they have dental decay – one of the most preventable diseases in the UK.

The research from Aquafresh showed that brushing teeth is becoming a source of stress for Wearside mums, with nearly half admitting brush time is stressful.

Dentist Tina Tanna said: “These results are shocking but not surprising. Dental decay is one of the most preventable diseases in the UK.

“Every mum knows how hard it is to get their kids to brush their teeth but these results show how important this really is.

“Dental decay can lead to complications such as tooth loss so it’s key that kids learn to brush their teeth properly when they are young to prevent further issues as their adult teeth begin to grow.”

To help combat the problem, Aquafresh has launched a national campaign to get put the fun into teeth cleaning.

Katharine Osmond, senior brand manager for Aquafresh, said: “We know that mums are under pressure from all sides to be the perfect parent – but there’s no such thing.

“We all need help and support from time to time, which is why we have teamed up with Netmums to crowd-source tips on how to get kids brushing – from the fun, to the inventive to the quirky.”