ALLAN PAYS TRIBUTE TO CHILDSMILE PROGRAMME
Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP, Alasdair Allan, is using the end of Childsmile month in the islands to welcome a dramatic improvement in the oral health of children in the Western Isles.
Childsmile is a Scottish Government funded programme designed to improve the oral health of children in Scotland and reduce inequalities, both in dental health and access to dental services. Between 29th June and 24th July approximately 1800 children throughout the Western Isles were seen as part of the Childsmile programme.
Figures show that since the programme began in 2010 the number of children registered with an NHS dentist in the islands is now at 84%, an increase from 55%, and the number of primary 1 children who were free of tooth decay has risen from 56% to 72%.
Alasdair Allan commented:
“Through the Childsmile programme children are offered an examination, oral health advice and, where appropriate, fluoride varnish application in the dental clinic. Children between the age of 3 and 6 also receive twice yearly fluoride application in nurseries and schools as well as free supervised toothbrushing from the Childsmile team.”
“Childsmile is a great example of what can be achieved when we focus on prevention, rather than treatment, at a very young age. This will pay dividends in future as our children will grow up with drastically improved dental health and the NHS will see reductions in costs as fewer and few children required extractions, fillings and other procedures. The programme is estimated to have already saved £5 million across Scotland.
“The Western Isles has needed to improve its dental health and so it is hugely encouraging to see just how much progress has been made in this area since 2010. These figures are just one more example of the Scottish Government and NHS Western Isles’ commitment to the continuing improvement of healthcare services across Scotland and the wellbeing of our next generation.”
Isle of Lewis
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