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There are several different toothbrushing programmes across the UK that have been/are being rolled out by local authorities and NHS Trusts to nurseries and schools. The aim is to support children and parents to achieve good oral hygiene from an …
There are several different toothbrushing programmes across the UK that have been/are being rolled out by local authorities and NHS Trusts to nurseries and schools. The aim is to support children and parents to achieve good oral hygiene from an early age and beyond.
In 2014, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a review showing that oral health improvement programmes, specifically supervised toothbrushing, are effective and that they should be recommended at an early age. Many local authorities in England already commission such programmes. However, there are still some local authorities who have not/are yet to implement such initiatives.
An NHS Trust in Bradford has an Oral Health Improvement team dedicated to delivering a supervised toothbrushing programme within specific schools and nurseries with a higher level of tooth or dental decay across the Bradford district. This programme offers daily supervised tooth brushing with the children for two years and includes staff training on delivery of the programme, provides the resources and quality assurance.
Essex and Suffolk are also examples of counties in the UK where plans have been introduced for supervised brushing in early years and school settings. The health directors in the two counties suggested that the grants will be given on 31 March 2023 so that children aged 2-8 years across Essex and Suffolk can have access to a supervised brushing programme.
Some parts of the UK have historically had higher levels of poor oral health among children. This can be partly due to inequality within the UK where access to oral health support is harder in some places compared to others. Indeed, tooth decay is strongly associated with deprivation and social exclusion.
Where more initiatives can be rolled out by local authorities and NHS bodies in the UK, and some of the money spent on supporting parents and young patients with their oral health, perhaps this could help prevent the early onset of tooth decay in young patients and beyond. In turn, could this ease the strain somewhat on the dental practitioners in our NHS dental practices?
If you have suffered from a delay in diagnosis of tooth decay or your child has been negligently treated by a dentist, please contact our specialist team today to see if you are eligible to bring a claim in dental negligence.