The oral health of 5 year olds across the district has been improving at a faster rate than national improvements according to a report being sent to the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 06 October.
The oral health of young children is monitored by a 3 yearly survey and the latest survey for 2014/15 shows a significant improvement across the Bradford district.
The average number of decayed missing and filled teeth in 5 year old children was 1.5 in 2014/15 compared to1.98 in 2011/12 and 2.42 in 2007/08.
Although rates of decay, missing and filled teeth in children remains above regional and national averages, the gap has closed during this period.
Bradford Council’s department of public health commissions a number of universal and targeted evidence based interventions to improve the oral health of children which include;
- Oral health promotion by Health Visitors at 6-12 months for all infants
- Community based fluoride varnish programme for children aged 2 to 4 years with over 10,000 children recruited each year
- Tooth brushing programme in 40 primary schools with more than 25% free school meals or priority 1 schools
- Childcare settings to receive First Steps to Healthy Teeth Award; 274 in 2015/16
- 35 Dental practices recruited to health promoting practice award programme
- Around 1200 children taking part in oral health programmes in Islamic schools, Mosques and Madrassas
Cllr Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“Giving children the best start in life is one reason why improving the oral health of our children remains a key public health priority for the Bradford District.
“No child should suffer from tooth decay, but it’s still a significant problem nationally and it remains one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions for children aged 5 to 9 despite the fact it is almost entirely preventable.”
“Early intervention with families is key to making sure parents and their children understand the importance of having good oral health. Learning to brush teeth properly with a family fluoride toothpaste as soon as they appear, reducing the amount of sugary food and drinks children consume and regular visits to a dentist are steps every parent can take to help ensure their children’s teeth remain healthy.”