In an effort to try and help improve Scotland’s dental health the chief Dental Officer has praised brushing and is encouraging parents to ensure their children look after their teeth by brushing them regularly.
Scotland has come a long way in just a few short years with improved dental and oral health, but the Scottish Government is not sitting back on its laurels and is continuing to promote basic oral hygiene habits.
The latest figures (from 2009) reveal that 64% of very young children do not show any sign of tooth decay. This figure is apparently the highest in Scottish dental health history, which the Chief Dentist wants to maintain if not improve still further.
Speaking with reporters, Scotland’s public health minister Michael Matheson said: “This is tremendous progress and is a sign that we are reaping the reward of our significant investment in children’s dentistry. However, it is important to make sure that we maintain this good oral health record over Christmas and New Year, and as we move into 2012.”
He added: “That’s why we are continuing to invest in childhood dental health, through programmes such as Childsmile, which emphasises the importance of tooth-brushing and helps parents establish a healthy diet from the earliest stage.
Through the Childsmile programme, 94% of all nursery schools and 95% of primary schools in the most deprived areas have taught children how to brush their teeth properly.”
However, it isn’t just children who are benefiting from new rules and regulations, as parents and other adults are benefiting as is NHS dentistry. It seems that 73% of adults and 86% of children are now registered with an NHS dentist in Scotland.
Delighted with this news, but nevertheless concerned at the potential for harm to children’s dental health during the Christmas period, the Chief Dental Officer, Margie Taylor said: “We know that over the festive period we can sometimes overindulge in chocolates and sugary treats. Not eating sugary snacks between meals can help to protect your children’s teeth from decay.
She added: “Make sure you keep to your regular routine of brushing your teeth morning and night over the festive period – this can play an important role in helping to keep you and your children’s teeth healthy.”
Now 2012 is here no doubt Scotland will continue where it left off and will help all its citizens develop much needed health smiles, particularly as we enter a period of severe financial austerity.