The Dentist Magazine.

Onslaught on dental decay in children underway!

Published: 7/9/2018 12:00:00 AM

Dentists are currently more empowered than ever before to provide information to parents and carers in order to reduce the high burden of dental decay in children across England. A comprehensive resource pack is now freely available to promote prevention in children aged zero to two.

Created under the Smile4Life banner, with resources from a range of sources and organisations, the pack has been circulated to Local Dental Networks and has been warmly welcomed by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD).

Claire Stevens, president of the BSPD, commented, “So many of us have been working to turn the tide on the ridiculously high number of general anaesthetics for multiple extractions in children. Now that this new pack giving online access to educational posters and leaflets is available to all dental practices, the onslaught against dental decay can really begin.”

“For too long, primary care dentists in England have been disadvantaged when compared to colleagues in Scotland, where there is the Childsmile programme, and colleagues in Wales, where there is the Designed to Smile programme. Now the Chief Dental Officer for England has delivered on her commitment to Starting Well Core, the dental access and prevention programme for children aged between zero and two, and we are really grateful for her leadership.”

Claire said that the strength of the Starting Well Core initiative is that it is taking the best of existing resources, such as BSPD’s Dental Check by One campaign, Public Health England’s Change 4 Life programme and Manchester’s Baby Teeth do Matter e-learning package and making them available nationally.

In addition to resources directed at patients, the pack contains educational material and evidence-based links for dentists and their teams. Each pack is different with dental health statistics which relate to the local area, so dental teams know the challenge they are up against.

Claire continued, “Dental Practices which want to work to reduce dental caries in children should find they have a rich supply of resources. We are also delighted to know that wider health and social care networks are also going to be sent some of the resources in the coming weeks.”