Oral Health Foundation welcomes new green paper

Oral Health Foundation welcomes new green paper

The Oral Health Foundation welcomes the previous government’s publication of the green paper “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s”.

In the document published by the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care, a commitment has been made to roll out more toothbrushing schemes in nurseries and schools across England.

The aim is to draft up proposals for supervised toothbrushing that can reach 30% of the most deprived 3-5 year olds by 2022.

A position on water fluoridation was also taken, with Whitehall instructing the NHS to work more closely with local authorities to implement water fluoridation schemes.

To access the latest green paper “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s” in full, visit www.gov.uk/government/consultations/advancing-our-health-prevention-in-the-2020s.

Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, has expressed his satisfaction that the previous government has laid out the next steps its successor needs to implement to help tackle oral health inequalities across the country; but wants further, more sustained action to follow.

Dr Carter says: “The publication of the latest green paper is a big step in the right direction. The commitments made within the document will definitely make it easier for people to make healthier choices and look after their mouth, teeth and gums more effectively.

“At the Oral Health Foundation, we believe that helping children to understand the importance of looking after their oral health from an early age is massively important. With this green paper laying out the nationwide toothbrushing scheme as a top priority, it is clear that the government is ready to commit to improving the lives of youngsters up and down the country.”

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and adolescents. Earlier this year, hospital operations to remove the teeth of under-18s increased to nearly 43,000.

Latest statistics show that one in four (23%) British children have tooth decay by the time they start school, while less than one in five (18%) UK children are having five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Dr Carter adds: “We also see water fluoridation as a key piece in cracking the complex jigsaw that is dental decay. It’s a safe, efficient procedure that we would like to see in place across the country benefitting each and every community.”

Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid that bacteria on the teeth produce.

 

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