Dental charity urges the government to fund supervised brushing schemes
A dental charity is urging the government to fund supervised brushing schemes in nurseries and schools in a bid to stem the rising tide of the dental decay crisis.
The Dental Wellness Trust, a charity, which was established by London-based dentist, Dr Linda Greenwall, 8 years ago, is calling for ministers to provide funding for teeth cleaning initiatives aimed at young children. The charity claims that programmes that are designed to ensure children brush their teeth at least once a day could save the NHS millions of pounds every year at the same time as reducing rates of decay by 30 percent.
Statistics show that more than 36,000 children in the UK are admitted to hospital for dental extraction procedures every year at a cost of over £30 million. A survey conducted by the charity suggests that around 25% of parents don’t supervise their children cleaning their teeth, and in many cases, children are unlikely to brush twice a day as recommended by dentists.
In a survey of 1,200 parents of children in Reception and Key Stage 1 and 2 classes, 16 percent said that they only take their child to the dentist once a year, and 7% admitted that they had never taken their child to a dentist before. This is despite the fact that dentists recommend 6-monthly checks for children from the age of 12 months old. More than 80% of parents agreed that supervised brushing should be part of the curriculum.
Dr Saul Konviser, from the Dental Wellness Trust, explained that tooth decay is the most common cause of hospital admissions among children, yet many parents remain oblivious to the importance of oral hygiene and dental care. Supervised brushing would ensure that children brush their teeth at least once a day and hopefully encourage them to adopt positive habits they can take home with them.