Dental health must reach every area

I called on the Scottish Government to set out how it will improve the dental health of children from more deprived backgrounds, after it was revealed a 2010 target is still being missed. 

The statistics showed that just 55% of P1 children from the most deprived areas have no obvious decay, compared with 82% in the least deprived areas. The Scottish Government’s target, that 60% of all P1 children should have no obvious decay experience by 2010, still isn’t being met for those from more deprived backgrounds. 

While it is encouraging to see the health of children’s teeth improve further, there is a big gap between the dental health of children from the most and least deprived backgrounds.

The average child from the most deprived background has two decayed, missing or filled teeth by the time they reach primary 1. Their more affluent classmates have on average 0.5 teeth in bad nick. 

There needs to be quality dental care available in every community, alongside information on how parents can help children have a healthy diet and look after their teeth. The Government needs to reach every area. The Scottish Government should set out how it will close this gap and finally meet its 2010 target.

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