Oral health promotion can take the form of educational and awareness campaigns aimed at population groups, or personal information and advice given by dentists, hygienists or other members of primary and community dental teams in the course of examining or treating individual patients.
Information on local national health service oral health promotion campaigns is not collected centrally although over the period 2003 to 2006 the Department contributed £1.1 million to pilot the Brushing for Life scheme intended to get families with young children into the habit of brushing their teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste.
It is also not possible to quantify what proportion of the activity supported by the £2.2 billion gross budget in 2005-06 for NHS primary dental care services contributed to raising awareness of oral hygiene and the prevention of dental disease. One of the Government's objectives in introducing from April 2006 local commissioning arrangements for primary dental care services and changing the basis of remuneration for dental practices away from item of service fees was to give dentists more scope to focus on preventative care. Primary care trusts are also now required to provide oral health promotion programmes to the extent that they consider it necessary to meet all reasonable requirements within their areas. To assist them, we published an oral health plan for England "Choosing Better Oral Health" in November 2005.