Over 40% of Bolton children start school with tooth decay
New research has revealed that 41% of children in Bolton start school with tooth decay. This figure is significantly higher than the national average of 25 percent.
Bolton is one of four priority areas in the Great Manchester region that has been flagged by NHS England. As a result, children in Bolton are set to benefit from the launch of a new initiative, which is targeting the worst-affected parts of the country in a bid to improve standards of oral health and close gaps between deprived and more affluent areas. The new £1.5 million programme will facilitate a series of measures that are designed to reduce rates of decay and improve oral health education.
Schools in Bolton will run supervised brushing sessions, and staff will also receive training to enable them to help children brush better and make healthier lifestyle choices. Parents will also have access to tooth cleaning kits from local health visitors, and local dental practices will be reaching out to encourage parents to register their children and take them for regular check-ups. NHS dental care is available free of charge for children.
Consultant in dental health at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Dympna Edwards, said that there have been improvements in the last few years, but progress is slow, and Bolton is lagging behind other parts of the country.
Paediatric dentist, Claire Stevens, stressed the importance of targeting children and instilling good habits from an early age. Dental problems are the leading cause of hospital admissions among children in Greater Manchester and providing extraction under general anaesthetic in Greater Manchester alone costs the NHS around £20 million per year. As the vast majority of cases of decay can be prevented, this is an area of spending that could be vastly reduced.