Fewer children in Wales are suffering from tooth decay, and overall dental health is improving, according to a new report. The report on Designed to Smile, the Welsh Government’s programme to improve the oral health of children under 7 in disadvantaged areas, is good news for children’s teeth:
- 60% of children aged three to six took part in the Designed to Smile programme
- 93,000 children take part in supervised brushing at home, up 5,500 since 2013
- Over 91,000 children received oral health education sessions
- 6% drop in the proportion of five-year-olds with dental decay
Free dental check-ups for children
At Gwersyllt Dental Care, we are also committed to children’s dental care. Children who have a parent or guardian on our Dental Care Plan are entitled to free check-ups along with 50% off any treatment. Children may join the practice as patients with their own monthly care plan.
Designed To Smile programme
Designed to Smile promotes oral health and educates children about caring for their teeth. It also features clinical intervention to prevent decay including:
- Supervised tooth brushing in schools and nurseries
- Application of fluoride varnish and fissure sealants
The programme has received £12m in funding since it began in 2009. Minister of Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford said, “Six years after the launch of Designed to Smile, children and young people in Wales are seeing the benefits of this programme”.
Fewer children experiencing decay
“While it is still too early to gauge the full impact of Designed to Smile, there has been some encouraging progress,” said Chief Dental Officer David Thomas. “Across all social groups, dental disease levels in children are decreasing. This contrasts with previous dental surveys, when reductions in levels of tooth decay were usually associated with widening inequality”.
“Crucially, we are seeing fewer children experiencing decay, not just a reduction in the number of teeth affected among those children with tooth decay”.