Tayside Health Chiefs All Smiles as Latest Figures Show Oral Health Improvements

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Health chiefs in Tayside are all smiles as the latest figures show major improvements in children’s’ oral health in the region.

The most recent figures show that 63.2 per cent of children in primary one and 74.9 per cent of primary two children are free from decay; these figures exceed the national target of 60 per cent, which was set by the government in 2010.

The figures confirm the success of oral health programmes and initiatives in place in the area and show continued improvement among children. Programmes involve school visits, education and improved access to dental services and there are also teeth cleaning and fluoride varnish initiatives in place.

Consultant in public dental health, Derek Richards, said that the figures are excellent news, but stressed that it is important not to slack off and to continue striving for further improvement in the future. The statistics show noticeable changes, but there are still children suffering from preventable dental diseases.

Director of public health at NHS Tayside, Dr Drew Walker, said that he was “delighted” to see continued improvement in oral health standards among Tayside children and thanked local dentists, schools and health authorities for their input. Dental decay can cause children to suffer unpleasant symptoms and as an entirely preventable condition, it is important to focus on children’s oral health and educate parents and children to further reduce rates of decay and ensure that children in the region are not suffering needlessly.

In addition to the existing programmes, researchers at Dundee Dental Health Services Research Unit are also working on a number of studies to determine risk factors for decay in the local community and find solutions to decrease rates of decay.

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