Although oral health is improving in England, almost a quarter of five year olds have tooth decay, and oral health accounts for around £3.4 billion per year to the NHS. Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admissions in children aged 5-9 in 2014/15 with over 24,000 children admissions for almost entirely preventable disease. Children who have toothache or who need treatment may have pain, infections and difficulties with eating, sleeping and socialising. An average of 3 days of school are missed due to dental problems.
Cllr Sarah Barber’s (Mayor of Ipswich) day job is a nurse at Ipswich Hospital and looks after children on a weekly basis who are recovering from having multiple teeth pulled out. She said the children “are very sad and in pain” for something that is preventable.
Suffolk’s Public Health team is leading the project, supported by county and borough councillors. This new pilot will aim to reduce tooth decay in children aged 3-7 in south and east Ipswich, with teachers supported by Community Dental Health professionals to deliver important messages about dental health, alongside information to take home to parents.
We are one of two schools in the Ipswich area to get involved in a new pilot scheme to cut tooth decay and support pupils and parents with key tips on advice on keeping teeth healthy. The children in Y1 and Y2 will be brushing their teeth on a daily basis in class whilst also being educated on keeping teeth healthy, healthy foods and snacks options and visiting the dentist.
For more information about children’s dental health, visit https://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk/advice-services/children/childrens-dental-health