Obesity: Children

Department of Health written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to improve oral health as part of the childhood obesity strategy.

Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve children's oral health in England through (a) diet and (b) other methods.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Our comprehensive childhood obesity strategy, due to be published in the new year, will be looking at areas for potential action including diet and sugar consumption which are risk factors in poor oral health and tooth decay.

The Department is working with NHS England to test a possible new dental contract which will increase access and improve oral health. Building on earlier pilots we are about to move to a new stage of testing by establishing prototypes. The new dental prototypes will continue to test a clinical care pathway focussed on preventing future dental disease. This approach includes offering patients personalised care plans and advice to both patients and parents on diet and good oral hygiene.

In 2014 Public Health England (PHE) published an evidence informed toolkit for local authorities to support their work on oral health improvement among children and young people. PHE also published an evidence based toolkit for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. These toolkits include oral health improvement programmes and advice focussing on a healthier diet and reducing the consumption of free sugars.

In addition these toolkits include other methods to improve oral health, for example tooth brushing programmes and fluoride varnish application.

The PHE report Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people: An evidence-informed toolkit for local authorities is attached and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321503/CBOHMaindocumentJUNE2014.pdf

The PHE report Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention is attached and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/367563/DBOHv32014OCTMainDocument_3.pdf

Improving oral health (PDF Document, 1.93 MB)
Delivering better oral health (PDF Document, 2.07 MB)

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