Dental health: Smiles all round as child tooth decay targets met

A TARGET to reduce tooth decay in Scottish youngsters has been met, a report revealed yesterday.

Figures showed that 64 per cent of Primary 1 children now have no sign of dental decay.

Public health minister Shona Robison welcomed the report's findings as she announced the roll-out of the 15 million Childsmile nursery, school and practice programmes to be delivered in every health board in Scotland in the new year.

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The report, by the National Dental Inspection Programme, found that the Scottish Government target for 60 per cent of P1s to have no obvious signs of tooth decay had been reached.

Ms Robison said: "It is fantastic to be able to say that our primary school children now have the best oral health since our records began.

"We wanted 60 per cent of Primary 1 children to have no sign of tooth decay by 2010 - not only has this been met, it has been improved upon.

"Thanks to work to ensure that children know the importance of dental care at the earliest age, Scotland's children are now primed to have a lifetime of good oral health."

The minister said Childsmile was an ambitious programme, "and I am pleased to say that all elements will be now be delivered in every health board in the new year".

Childsmile sees specially trained dental nurses going into schools and providing clinical preventive care to children.

Projects also target children in the most deprived areas of the country.