Scotland: tooth decay in children falls to new low

06 December 2019

The number of children with no obvious sign of tooth decay has reached a record high.

NHS Scotland said that four out of five of children in the final year of primary school had no obvious decay in their permanent teeth in 2019 – up from 53% in 2005, when records began.

But health disparities remain. Seven in 10 children in the most deprived areas have no obvious decay compared with almost nine out of 10 in the wealthiest areas.

Public health minister Joe FitzPatrick said: ‘To ensure we continue to tackle this, we have extended the Childsmile programme so that children living in our most deprived areas are entitled to receive fluoride varnish applications at nursery or school in addition to those at their dental practice.’

Four out of five children in their final year had no obvious decay – up from 53% in 2005

The Scottish Government’s Childsmile project offers young children free toothbrushes, toothpaste and two fluoride varnish applications a year. Children attending nursery, and those in primary schools in deprived areas, are offered daily supervised brushing.

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