Childsmile Programme a Success

SNP MSP Bill Walker has welcomed news that an ambitious oral health programme aimed at children has now rolled out to every NHS health board in Scotland.
The £15m Childsmile nursery, school and dental practice programmes emphasise the importance of tooth-brushing and help parents establish a healthy diet from the earliest stage.
Mr Walker, MSP for Dunfermline, said:
“This is an important programme, aimed at instilling effective dental hygiene practise in children from the earliest age and setting them up for a lifetime of good oral health.”
Children in every nursery in Scotland are eligible for free daily tooth-brushing, while in some local authority areas they may also receive fluoride varnish.
In targeted areas, schoolchildren in primaries one and two are also eligible for tooth-brushing and fluoride varnish.
Meanwhile, dental practices advise parents on the importance of diet and of brushing children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste. They may also apply fluoride varnish to children’s teeth.
By the age of five, on at least six occasions children are provided with a dental pack containing a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and an information leaflet.
Families with babies are not left out. Since the end of last year, health visitors offer all parents with newborn children information on Childsmile. If the family is not registered with a dentist, Childsmile staff will contact them at the three-month stage to offer oral health advice and help find a dentist for their child.
Mr Walker added: “This initiative, funded by the Scottish Government, consists of four strands: the Childsmile Core Programme, Childsmile Practice, Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School. All four are now being delivered across Scotland.
“Children’s dental health is better than ever. The Scottish Government set a target for 60 per cent of primary seven children to have no obvious signs of tooth decay, and figures released at the end of last year show that, for the first time, this has been achieved.”

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