02 Oct

Project Cuts Scottish Decay

A dental health scheme is helping Scotland win the war on childhood tooth decay.

New figures from the department of health showed a significant long-term decrease in the number of children needing fillings and extractions.

Since 2000-01 the number of fillings given to children has fallen 62% from 774,762 to 298, 192 in 2019-19.

Meanwhile, the number of tooth extractions has fallen 35% from 133,000 to 86,000.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said: “These figures show a significant reduction in both the number of fillings given to children as well as the number of teeth extracted.

“This reflects the substantial impact the Scottish Government’s Childsmile Programme has made in improving the oral health of children.

“Our Oral Health Improvement Plan, with its strong focus on prevention and reducing oral health inequalities, will help to ensure further reductions in the need for restorative treatment.”

Delivered by health professionals in the education, voluntary and health sectors, ChildSmile is a nationwide project aimed at improving children’s dental health.

It provides practical advice on brushing and encourages children to do so for at least two minutes at a time. 

The programme also advises youngsters to spit instead of rinsing after brushing to allow the toothpaste time to protect teeth.