The British Dental Association calls for the Mayor to step in as oral health standards slip among children in London

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The British Dental Association has urged the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to take action after new statistics showed that standards of oral health among children in London have deteriorated.

An inquiry revealed that rates of decay have increased in 10 of the city’s boroughs, with 3,500 children under 5 in London having teeth removed last year alone. After steady improvement in the last decade, the most recent figures show that standards are sliding in boroughs including Wandsworth, Camden and Waltham Forest.

The BDA has called on the Mayor to respond to the problem and urged him to consider a similar programme to a new £1.5 million campaign launched in Greater Manchester. The project is targeting the worst-affected areas of the county, providing supervised brushing in schools and nurseries, oral hygiene packs for children and trained support staff to encourage better oral health habits.

The BDA estimates that tooth extractions in London cost the NHS around £7 million per year. For the first time since 2014/2015, the number of extractions increased in 2017/2018.

Len D’Cruz, from the BDA, said that the Mayor should step in where “ministers have failed” and support investment in dental services, most notably in preventative measures.

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