Scottish children’s teeth simply the best

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A study has shown that Scottish primary school children are enjoying better dental health than ever before.

The study, which was conducted by the 2009 Dental Inspection Programme, found that levels of decay amongst children in primary seven were lower than ever. The results of the study showed that 64 percent of the participants had a clean bill of dental health and no signs of tooth decay. The figure of 64 percent exceeds the national target of 60 percent, which was set by the Scottish government.

Although the national results are very pleasing, the study did flag up some concerns; the survey found that dental health in some parts of the country was better than in other parts, with results varying from 55.5 percent in the Western Isles to 79.2 percent in Shetland. Other regions that fell below the target of 60 percent included Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

Liberal Democrat health spokesman, Ross Finnie said that despite the positive results, more needs to be done to prevent conditions such as tooth decay; even in the best performing areas, almost a third of children are still showing signs of decay. Mr Finnie said that more needed to be done to increase access to NHS dental services and improve equality across the country.

In contrast to Mr Finnie’s comments, Shona Robinson, the minister for public health, said that the results of the recent study were very encouraging. The government will continue to work towards better oral health for all children and will continue to invest in oral health services across the country; the study has flagged up areas where greater investment is needed and it is hoped that new initiatives will be launched to improve access to local services in more rural areas.

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