Blackpool to receive additional funding in bid to crack down on rising rates of childhood decay

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Representatives from Public Health England have confirmed that Blackpool will receive additional funding as part of a scheme to crack down on rising rates of childhood decay. Blackpool has been earmarked as one of 13 ‘high risk’ areas by the body.

The aim of the new programme is to encourage parents to ensure that their children receive dental check-ups, which are available free of charge on the NHS. The scheme is targeting children aged under 5 who have never seen a dentist before.

The Starting Well scheme aims to establish community dental teams, which will visit children’s centres to participate in events such as supervised brushing sessions, to hand out free dental packs containing essentials such as toothbrushes and toothpaste and to increase the uptake of dental services by encouraging local dentists to host open days and advertise available NHS places.

Steve Brine, health minister, said that it’s essential to work closely with dental professionals to improve the service provided to children and to encourage local parents to take advantage of the services that are available to them on the NHS.

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff, deputy director of Public Health England, suggested that more needed to be done despite the fact that standards of oral health are improving. By selecting high risk areas for extra funding and investment, it is hoped that children living in these towns and cities will have access to better dental care and enjoy better oral health in years to come.

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