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UK Against Fluoridation

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Dental Health UK Parliament

Photo of Steve BrineSteve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In England local authorities are responsible for assessing oral health needs and improving the oral health of their local populations rather than the centralised approach in Scotland. Many local authorities have programmes in place that contain elements similar to those within the Childsmile programme, for example tooth brushing programmes and community fluoride varnish schemes.
Improving the oral health of young children in England is a Public Health England (PHE) priority. PHE’s Children’s Oral Health Improvement Programme Board brings together over 20 stakeholder organisations that all have key leadership roles for children and young people. Its work programme includes learning from other successful approaches including the Childsmile initiative in Scotland.
The Department for Education recognises the importance of healthy teeth - poor oral health can affect a child's ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children. Early Years Educator qualifications must cover the promotion of the health, safety and welfare of children. All early years’ providers have a responsibility to promote the health of children in their setting, set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, good oral health can form a part of this and this may include supervised tooth brushing sessions. PHE has published a supervised tooth brushing toolkit to support the commissioning and delivery of these programmes. In addition early years providers have published a feasibility study of supervised tooth brushing in early years settings which concluded they were easily deliverable. The study is available at:
Information on the cost of assessing oral health needs, and individual supervised brushing programmes is not collected centrally. Local authorities are responsible for improving oral health, assessing oral health needs and if appropriate commissioning supervised brushing programmes including nurseries and school breakfast clubs.

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