Scandal of low level dental checks for 3 year olds in Nottm North - Parliamentary debate last night
“There are appalling and unacceptable levels of tooth decay in children in nottm north and a clear need to progress getting every 3 year old their free dental check. I raised this with the Minister in Parliament last night and will be seeing him shortly .It is totally unacceptable that fewer than one in five 3 year olds in the Nottingham North constituency have accessed an NHS dentist (19.2% - 2013/14, NHS BSA), despite more than half of practices in the city having capacity to accept new patients.”
Intervention in Parliamentary debate last night http://www.grahamallenmp.co.uk/in_parliament/debates/child_dental_health
- By the time that they are 3 years old almost 17% of children in Nottingham city have experience of dental decay (PHE, 2015) and by the time that they reach the age of 5 years 38.5% have experience of disease (PHE, 2014). Both these figures are higher than the average for England and are the 2nd highest among the local authorities in the East Midlands. Dental decay prevalence is correlated with deprivation, and so there will be areas in the city with high levels of deprivation where young children have higher levels of decay than the average for the City.
Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged five to nine years old in 2012-13 (PHE, 2014). Dental treatment under general anaesthesia, often the only way to treat very young children, presents a small but real risk of life-threatening complications for children.
Children who have decay in their baby teeth are more likely to will go on to develop decay in their adult teeth, unless their environment (diet, access to fluoride, taking up dental care) changes significantly, and so will carry a burden of dental disease for life, with its implications for not only pain and discomfort, but also in terms of treatment costs.
The commonest oral disease is dental caries (or tooth decay) and is the commonest dental condition affecting children. Other important conditions are periodontal (gum) disease and oral (mouth) cancers. Many general health conditions and oral diseases share common risk factors such as poor diet, smoking and alcohol misuse.
Oral diseases are largely preventable. There is evidence based guidance to support both the delivery of prevention in dental practices (Delivering Better Oral Health, 3rd ed (PHE, 2014)) and for local authorities in commissioning community based oral health promotion programmes (Commissioning Better Oral Health (PHE, 2014) and NICE (2014)).
increased use of fluoride
- reducing the frequency of sugar consumption
- effective daily oral hygiene
- seeking regular dental care
- smoking cessation and limiting consumption of alcohol.
Child access to dental services in Nottingham is lower than both the England and East Midlands averages. Fewer than one in five 3 year olds in the Nottingham North constituency have accessed an NHS dentist (19.2% - 2013/14, NHS BSA), despite more than half of practices in the city having capacity to accept new patients.
This is one of 3 public health projects the Foundation are delivering in partnership with Nottingham City Council, NHS England, Public Health England and specialist healthcare professionals across the City. The other 2 projects are concerned with reducing alcohol intake in pregnancy; and reducing smoking prevalence and seeking a reduction in lung disease and lung cancer related mortality.
- The Foundation aims to rebalance the outer estates of Nottingham North from predominantly low-income housing estates to what they once were - balanced and sustainable communities which are safe, healthy and vibrant places to live.