Bolton has one of worst child dental hygiene records in country
FOUR out of 10 youngsters in Bolton have tooth decay — making town’s record on children’s dental hygiene one of the worst in the country.
The worrying figure for Bolton’s five-year-olds puts the town above the average for Greater Manchester (37 per cent) and the North West (34 per cent) — with Public Health England (PHE) saying that the North West has the worst regional numbers.
The council has a Brushing for Life scheme and a Brush Bus for nursery ages, as well as schemes for older children.
A spokesman said: “In recent years we have made great improvements in children’s dental health.
“But there is clearly still more work to be done.
“Our oral health promotion team works very hard in the community, and with health partners, to tackle the issues around child oral health and we deliver a range of projects to encourage better oral hygiene.
“It is essential to highlight the importance of children brushing their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, avoiding sugary sweets and drinks, and getting regular check-ups at the dentist.”
The average number of decayed teeth per five-year-old child in Bolton has reduced from from 3.23 in 2003 to 2.5 in 2010, and 1.85 last year.
Bosses at NHS Bolton, the primary care trust which oversees local health services, say there have been improvements in dental health in the town — in 2006 the figure was 3.2 bad teeth per child on average.
The same survey by PHE showed that only half the number of youngsters, aged five, had tooth decay in the South East.
Bolton dentist Dr Michael Cahill said it was down to parents to ensure their children were taking care of their teeth. He said: “The responsibility lies completely with the parents.
“You wouldn’t leave a five year-old to do anything else. A lot of the time parents are unaware that it’s their responsibility. It’s about education. A lot of people don’t think baby teeth are as important but they are there to bring adult teeth into position.
Dr Cahill said the Greater Manchester Local Professional Dental Network was currently running a Baby Teeth DO Matter campaign.
He said parents needed to ensure youngsters were using a toothbrush designed for a smaller mouth.
Prof Paul Johnstone, regional director for PHE in the north of England, said: “Yet again, the publication of this report tells the story of the inequalities that exist in health experience between the north of England and the rest of the country.
“We need a joined-up approach across areas and nationally, to look at how by working together we can really turn things round.
“PHE in the north is collaborating with our key partners to address these issues together, involving the whole country where necessary and sharing good practice.”
Comments are closed on this article.