Dental Services: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th July 2019.

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Photo of Bill Wiggin Bill Wiggin Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection, Chair, Committee of Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress the Government has made in ensuring that children receive regular dental examinations and treatment.

Photo of Seema Kennedy Seema Kennedy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance published in 2004 recommends that individuals are seen by a dentist at intervals set on the basis of their individual oral health. For children the range is three months to 12 months. The NICE guidance can be accessed at the following link:

NHS England is responsible for ensuring access to National Health Service dental services and treatment.

Latest data published by NHS Digital shows that 7 million children were seen by a dentist in the 12 month period ending 31 December 2018, which equates to 58.6% of the child population.

NHS England has developed two initiatives are directly targeting children’s oral health. NHS England’s Starting Well ’13 areas’ programme is working in 13 high needs areas to reach children most at risk of tooth decay who are not already under the care of a dentist. NHS England has also introduced Starting Well ‘Core’, this aims to reach very young children (aged 0-2) and is championed by the Chief Dental Officer.

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