Can we afford not to invest more in oral health prevention for Scotland?

Scotland on Sunday and the Scotsman online have highlighted recent figures that suggest that, whilst there has been an improvement in the oral health of five year-olds in the country, Scotland still lags behind other countries, such as England and Norway. The figures also show continuing dental inequalities with a significant difference in results between children from the richest and poorest neig... »

Novelty sweets: the heart-breaking damage being done to children’s teeth

Do you know your Brain Licker from your Juicy Drop Pop? They are novelty sweets, in case you are wondering. Novelty sweets are pocket-money priced, and available at corner shops, which means children keep going back for more. As dentists we try to talk to parents about the ills of their children consuming too many sugary sweets, and often it feels a bit like being up against a brick wall. It can b... »

A smile brightens everyone’s day: National Smile Month

We are proud supporters of National Smile Month. As a practice, we are very keen to make people aware of the impact of oral hygiene and good tooth care on their smiles: a smile makes the whole face light up and brightens up everybody’s day! During the month, we offered a smile assessment to all our patients and gave them the option to see our dental therapist for oral hygiene advice. We also focus... »

Teaching kids about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods for teeth

We enjoy getting involved with our local community, and each year for National Smile Month, we plan an outreach visit for either young children or the elderly, alternating between these groups each year. This year, myself and our newest associate dentist, Sophie, went along to our local nursery to give a talk on oral health to over 40 young children. We try hard to keep the visit fun for the child... »

Tales of the tooth fairy – a parent’s perspective

There is a massive problem with tooth decay amongst children. The number of children facing hospital tooth extractions continues to mount, rising from 32,457 procedures in 2010-11 to 40,970 in 2014-15. For those children, their childhood memories will be rather less wonderful and magical than that portrayed below. Wouldn’t it be great if all our children got to experience the joy and excitement of... »

This is what oral health inequalities look like…

The Member of Parliament for South West Surrey has reason to be cheerful this week. It appears that his constituency, which cuts through the leafy borough of Waverley, is now at the top of the premier league for children’s oral health. On Tuesday Public Health England published their data on tooth decay among 5 year olds. Officials seemed pleased to report that decay rates are down by a few percen... »

Are we serious about real prevention for children’s oral health?

I hope you haven’t missed the fact that National Smile Month is nearly upon us (16 May-16 June). This excellent initiative, run by the Oral Health Foundation, aims to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health – you can get involved in a variety of ways. During the month, we’ll be focusing on the issue of sugar consumption and children’s oral health. This seems to be an issu... »

Securing better dental health for Northern Ireland: prevention at the heart

Northern Ireland has some of the worst oral health inequalities in the UK. And with an oral health strategy that is almost 10 years out of date, the next Executive has a chance to put prevention at the heart of policy. Securing Better Dental Health for all is the BDA Northern Ireland Manifesto, setting out areas for priority action over the next five years. More than double the number of 15-year-o... »

Better oral health for Scotland: addressing the NHS dentistry funding shortfall

Scotland is an oral health innovator. The Childsmile programme has been a great success, lowering treatment costs and delivering enormous improvements in the oral health for children under the age of five. Once you look past that age group, you see 36% of children living in areas of higher economic and social deprivation have obvious tooth decay compared to 15% in more affluent areas. 7,025 childr... »

Delivering better oral health for Wales: investment in the next generation

Delivering better oral health for Wales means investment in the next generation. The last Child Dental Health Survey showed 66% of Welsh 15-year olds have decay compared with 41% across the border. Assembly Members backed a 20% sales tax for sugary drinks in a symbolic vote last December. And now a UK-wide levy is on the cards, we have to push further. We can fight this decay epidemic on two front... »

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