Dental health Childsmile programme for Scots children

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    Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said the Scottish government is funding the “ambitious” Childsmile programme to the tune of £15 million all across the country.

    The new dental health initiative will stress the necessity of toothbrushing in dental hygiene and protecting teeth from tooth decay and gum disease.

    Similar to programmes in the 1960s, all young children will receive, a minimum of six times by the age of five, packs containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and a dental hygiene information leaflet.

    The most deprived areas of Scotland will also be provided with other prevention measures to fight tooth decay such as putting fluoride varnish on children’s teeth.

    Already, children in the most deprived areas have been taught how to correctly brush their teeth in over 90 per cent of nursery and primary schools.

    Approximately 900 dental practices across Scotland are involved in the Scottish government scheme.

    Ray McAndrew, associate medical director in oral health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said:

    “This exciting programme encourages dentists and their staff to give advice to parents on the care of their children’s teeth. It places a strong emphasis on preventing dental decay through daily tooth brushing using fluoride toothpaste and advice on diet.”

    Figures for 2011 showed that for the first time all health boards attained the Scottish Government target of at least 60 per cent of primary seven youngsters with no obvious sign of tooth decay.

    Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Thanks to work to ensure that children know the importance of dental care at the earliest age, Scotland’s children are now primed to have a lifetime of good oral health.”