Dental Health: Children

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th February 2016.

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Photo of Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Earl Baldwin of Bewdley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 16 January 2013 (HL4464) describing the Childsmile programme as "very encouraging", whether they can give further information about the benefits of the programme as an alternative to water fluoridation in addressing dental decay and social inequalities in dental health.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health

There are a variety of community based oral health improvement programmes that have been shown to be effective in reducing dental decay. No single intervention is likely to provide a solution to oral health improvement priorities and many work together for maximum benefit, for example water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste.

Public Health England recently reviewed such programmes and published an evidence informed toolkit entitled; Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people, for local authorities to support their work on oral health improvement. Local authorities can therefore consider a range of oral health improvement programmes (including those which make up the Childsmile programme in Scotland and water fluoridation) and decide which or which combination is most appropriate to their local population’s needs. A copy of the toolkit is attached.

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