Innovative project aims to give kidsí teeth the best start in life
Dental decay is almost entirely preventable
Kids’ teeth can get the best start in life thanks to an innovative new NHS project to improve the oral health of children aged over 3 years old. NHS Hounslow is extending its Healthy Smiles programme that aims to make it easier to access NHS dental services, to Feltham having first been piloted in central Hounslow.
A recent survey revealed that 56 percent of Hounslow parents found it too difficult to find the time to take kids to a dentist, compared with 51 percent in London. NHS Hounslow are now making it easier to access dental services by taking the services where they go in everyday life.
With Healthy Smiles, parents can take their kids to a dental nurse to have fluoride varnish applied, at the same time as a shopping trip in their local ASDA store in Feltham and Hounslow. Dental nurses, based near the in store pharmacy, are on hand to give help, advice and book kids straight into a follow-up appointment with a local dentist. On attending the follow-up visit, children will also be given their own ‘Brush for Life’ kit that includes a free toothbrush and advice on oral health.
NHS Hounslow’s, Consultant in Public Health for Dentistry, Claire Robertson said, “Healthy smiles has been a fantastic success when piloted in Hounslow and now kids in Feltham can benefit from this too. By offering this preventive service at a supermarket busy parents can be given advice about looking after their child’s teeth, how to find a local dentist and some protection for their children’s teeth during a normal shopping trip.”
Claire added “We know that children who’ve been seen by the scheme go on to see a dentist who will help them look after their oral health in the future. Fluoride varnishing reduces tooth decay by 33 per cent. When piloted in Hounslow we saw 1,300 children in months.”
Dental treatment for children is free on the NHS; there are 40 NHS dental practices in Hounslow all taking on new patients. Find out more about Healthy Smiles, NHS Dentistry and dental costs on our website athttp://www.hounslowpct.nhs.uk/Dentist.html with general NHS information can be found at www.hounslowpct.nhs.uk or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NHShounslow , join the facebook group http://bit.ly/NHSHounslowFB.
July 21, 2010