A new Dairy Council campaign will promote the benefits of milk and cheese for dental health.

Lanching this week, the Slurp & Chew Your Way to Dental Health initiative kicks off with a 30-second TV spot that will air in at least 160 dental surgeries across the UK, reaching an estimated 1.3 million people during the year. It will appear on an in-surgery TV platform that shows short educational and entertainment programmes.

The campaign was devised in response to rising evidence of tooth decay, with diet usually pinpointed as a major cause. But it also shows that dairy products can have a protective effect on teeth, said Dairy Council director Judith Bryans. The organisation said studies had shown that many children did not get enough calcium.

The WHO also recommends chewing a small piece of cheese after a meal to reduce dental caries and promote oral health. The message will also be featured in press advertorials across regional media.