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Published on November 12, 2013

Simple measures save £6m in dental costs

Simple measures save £6m in dental costs

According to a new study, Childsmile scheme – a programme to encourage nursery children to brush their teeth, has saved more than £6m in NHS dental costs.

Childsmile involves nursery staff providing free guidance and supervising children when brushing their teeth, every day at school.

Despite the costly amount to setup the programme, £1.8m a year, the benefits have far outweighed this. Glasgow researchers found that the cost of treating dental disease in five-year-olds has more than halved between 2001 and 2010. It was also found that fewer children needed tooth extractions, fillings, general anaesthetics and hospital treatments as a result of the programme.

The research highlights how a simple method of early intervention, through the adoption of preventative methods, can have a huge impact on the health of children’s teeth. Just imagine the results if a UK wide programme was rolled out to local councils!

As the Public Health Minister Michael Matheson reiterates: “This is an amazing achievement and shows just how much can be saved from a very simple health intervention. More children can just be treated routinely in the dental chair because they need less invasive treatments, so fewer fillings and fewer extractions, and many more children with much better oral health than we have seen in many years.”

With a combined effort from schools, government funding and parents – the health of our children’s teeth could  vastly improve within the next century.

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