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Dental Health: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th November 2018.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce levels of tooth decay in children in regions in which such decay is significantly above the national average.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In England local authorities (LAs) are responsible for assessing the oral health needs of their local population, developing oral health strategies and commissioning oral health improvement programmes to meet the needs of their local population.

In May 2018 Public Health England (PHE) published a stocktake which reported on oral health improvement programmes, commissioned by local authorities targeting children under five years old in England. Of the 95% of LAs who responded, the majority are commissioning oral health improvement programmes for under-fives. The stocktake can be viewed at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/707180/Oral_health_improvement_programmes_commissioned_by_local_authorities.pdf

NHS England has launched ‘Starting Well: A Smile4Life Initiative’. This programme of dental practice-based initiatives aims to reduce oral health inequalities and improve oral health in children under the age of five. The programme has been launched in 13 high priority areas chosen on the basis of decay experience at a LA level and existing oral health improvement plans.

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