Dentists in Blackburn to join national scheme to encourage more children to attend check-ups

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Dentists in Blackburn are preparing to participate in a national pilot scheme, which aims to encourage more children to attend regular check-ups.

The ‘Starting Well: Smile 4 Life’ programme is being rolled out in the area to try and tackle low uptake and ensure that more children see their dentist in the year ahead. The latest statistics show that between June 2017 and June 2018, more than 12,000 children in the Blackburn and Darwen borough didn’t go to a dentist, despite the fact that guidelines recommend visits every six months. Although there has been an improvement in rates of decay among 5-year-olds in the last decade, Blackburn still ranks 7th in the list of worst places for children’s oral health.

By taking part in the Starting Well scheme, dentists in the area are hoping to encourage more than 4,000 more children to have a dental check in the 12-month period ahead. Arshad Rafiq is one of many local dentists participating in the initiative. Talking about the scheme, he said that he was looking forward to visiting community centres, nurseries and schools to talk to parents about dental services and ensure that everyone understands the importance of regular appointments.

Decay is the leading cause of childhood hospital admissions in the UK, and health executives are hoping that increasing the uptake of dental services will help to improve standards of oral health in the future.

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