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UK Against Fluoridation

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

House of Lords

Q
Asked by Lord Storey
Department of Health and Social CareDental Health: ChildrenHL7480

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the oral health of school children in England.

A Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy Answered on: 14 May 2018
Local authorities are responsible for assessing the oral health needs of their local population, including the needs of school children, developing oral health strategies and commissioning oral health improvement programmes.

Public Health England has published resources to support local authorities in improving the oral health of children, and is working locally with local authorities on this. These resources include Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people: An evidence-informed toolkit for local authorities which assessed the community-based preventive services that reduce tooth decay, including those that increase fluoride availability. This toolkit supports local authorities to invest in programmes which have demonstrated improvement in children’s dental health. A copy of the toolkit is attached.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published Oral health: local authorities and their partners (NICE guidance PH55). This guidance includes recommendations to consider supervised toothbrushing schemes and fluoride varnish schemes in nurseries and primary schools in areas where children are at high risk of poor oral health and also recommendations on raising awareness of importance of oral health as part of a whole school approach in all primary and secondary schools. A copy of the guidance is attached.

Sugary food and drinks are one of the main causes of tooth decay. The Government’s Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action, launched in August 2016, contained proposals for a broad, structured sugar reduction programme to remove sugar from the categories of food that contribute the most to children’s sugar intakes. This Plan and the sugar levy which came into effect in April 2018, is expected to have a positive effect on improving children’s oral health.

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