Brent sees biggest drop in child tooth decay in London

Brent has seen the biggest drop in tooth decay in the capital, according to recent health figures.

The latest Oral Health Survey, which is published by Public Health England, shows there has been a 15.1 per cent decrease in the number of 5 year olds with tooth decay since 2012 – the biggest decrease in the capital.

Camden saw the second highest decrease of 12.8 per cent in the same period, whereas Newham saw the third biggest decrease of 10.7 per cent.

The significant decrease in Brent follows the decision to make children’s oral health a public health priority and the introduction of a series of council preventative programmes, including a school-outreach programme where children’s teeth are varnished with fluoride, encouraging regular dental check-ups of children from toddler age, and by rolling out a ‘Slash Sugar’ campaign warning of the damage sugary foods and drink can do.

Tooth decay is entirely preventable but the reality is that one in four 5 year olds have tooth decay in London. This has a huge knock on impact on a child’s long term future so it is crucial that we tackle the issue. This is why it is so important that we work with all partners and the public to improve child oral health in Brent.

The need for regular brushing, avoiding sugary snacks and drinks and the importance of regular dentist visits for children over the age of one is fundamental to prevention.

Although the large decrease is really promising, we know that there is still much to be done. We will keep working hard to educate children and their parents about preventative measures and healthy lifestyle choices to try and reduce rates of decay even further.

Working with dentists and schools to improve children’s oral health in Brent

TBM oral health front pageBrent Council has launched a new schools-based dental outreach programme to help tackle tooth decay amongst local children.

Nearly half of all Brent Children suffer with tooth decay and it is the commonest cause of non-urgent admission to hospital for children in the borough.

The programme aims to work with local dentists and primary schools to arrange free dental assessments and fluoride varnish application to children in nursery and up to Year 2. The programme aims to provide free assessments to over 1000 children.

Tooth decay is entirely preventable and this project will emphasise the need for regular brushing; avoiding sugary snacks and drinks and the importance of regular dentist visits for children over the age of 1.

The scheme demonstrates real partnership working between the Council, local schools and the NHS to work together to tackle this important issue.

We are currently liaising with head teachers over the summer months to identify which schools want to take part in this exciting pilot.

Our work here follows on from the increased profile we are hoping to promote on this issue, symbolised by the recent Brent Magazine front page.