30 Jul 2011

Wales - Inquiry will get to root of tooth decay problem

Inquiry will get to root of tooth decay problem
by Madeleine Brindley, Western Mail
Jul 30 2011
ShareAN INQUIRY will examine why so many children in Wales are suffering from tooth decay.
The investigation, by the National Assembly’s children and young people committee, will also assess whether a Welsh Government scheme to improve children’s oral health is having an effect.
Over the course of the past two years, thousands of children in some of the most deprived parts of Wales have been taught how to brush their teeth as part of the Designed to Smile initiative.
Children in Wales have the worst teeth in the UK – five-year-olds in Wales have an average of two to three missing, filled or decayed teeth

But in the most deprived communities this is much higher – in Merthyr Tydfil the average number of decayed, missing or filled teeth for every five-year-old is 3.9.
Christine Chapman, Labour AM for Cynon Valley and chair of the committee, said: “Research shows dental health of children in Wales is worse than many other parts of the UK and the problem is most prevalent in deprived areas.
“Given the level of investment the Welsh Government has dedicated to improving our children’s oral health, we feel it is time to examine how effective its efforts to improve standards have been.
“Therefore we will be assessing whether that extra investment has delivered improved standards, particularly among children who live in Wales’ more deprived areas. We will also ask what, if anything, can be done to ensure Welsh children are getting the best possible service consistently across the country.”...............

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