I confirm that we are currently considering our full response to our consultation on improving the oral health of Scotland's children. Given the public interest in the matter, I can confirm that, having listened to the views that have been expressed,
I welcome whole-heartedly the First Minister's response. Scotland's poor oral health is a given. Will he now promote increased action through schools and health visitors to encourage good tooth-brushing technique among children, perhaps backed up with free toothbrushes and free toothpaste?
There are a number of good examples of, for example, school and community breakfast clubs that are assisting with the brushing of young children's teeth early in the morning. That is partly a way of training them in that basic skill, but it is also a way of encouraging them to improve their dental health.
We should not underestimate or play down the importance of the issue. Although, for obvious reasons, we cannot go out there and brush people's teeth for them, we can—[Interruption.]
We can try to create a culture in which young people and their parents take the issue more seriously; in which more parents are encouraged to register their children with dentists; in which there is a greater availability of services; and in which young people are motivated to continue not just brushing their teeth, but looking after their dental hygiene as a whole. That is a real challenge for us. When we outline our proposals for improving oral health in Scotland's children, a comprehensive package will be put in place.
The Scottish Executive has long professed neutrality on this issue. I welcome the First Minister's confirmation that fluoridation will not be carried out yet, or under the forthcoming bill; however, can he explain why a neutral Scottish Executive has been funding the pro-fluoridation lobby for many years? Those are not impartial experts giving neutral advice, but pro-fluoridation lobbyists giving advice to the Scottish Executive and funded with taxpayers' money. Is it not true that the Scottish Executive has been doing that for far too long, needs to stop doing it and needs to accept that fluoridation has been rejected by the Scottish people as a wasteful, polluting, untargeted move and a distraction from the food issues that affect the Scottish diet?
It might have been better just to say, "We welcome the announcement." Over the past two months, members of all parties have talked a lot about raising our game in