21 Jan 2014

House of Commons

Dental Health

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that oral health is high on the public health agenda. [183263]

Dr Poulter: Oral health remains an area of focus for public health. The Government is committed to improving oral health, particularly that of children. Significant inequalities in oral health persist despite overall reductions in decay levels.

In recognition of this, the public health outcomes framework for 2013-16 contains an indicator measuring the prevalence of tooth decay in five-year-old children in England, by local authority area.

20 Jan 2014 : Column 75W

Public Health England (PHE) is currently developing updated guidance for health care professionals on the prevention of dental disease, in the form of the third edition of “Delivering Better Oral Health”. The guidance will include specific advice regarding the provision of preventative dental advice and treatment and will be followed by a version for patients.

PHE is also developing commissioning guides in order to help local authorities exercise their responsibilities to develop oral health strategies and commissioning oral health improvement programmes. This work is led by a national steering group, “Commissioning Better Oral Health”.
Both sets of guidance will be published by May 2014.

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