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Starting Well

FREE Resources for Starting Well Programme

Despite being largely preventable, tooth decay remains a significant health problem amongst young children in England. Public Health England data shows almost a quarter of 5 year olds  and 12% of 3 year olds  have experienced tooth decay, and alongside the risks of pain and infection, this can have a wider impact on children’s nutrition, school-readiness, development and well-being. Furthermore, tooth decay is the leading cause of hospital admission for children aged 5-9 years, contributing to a NHS spend on hospital-based tooth extractions for children in excess of £35m per year.  Low dental access rates for young children may be a contributing factor to the poor state of child oral health. Currently less than 12% of children under 2 years of age are visiting a NHS dentist each year,  however there is evidence to support the requirement for young children’s dental visits, for oral and systemic health reasons.  Moreover, evidence suggests that the average dental related costs may be less for children who received earlier preventive care.  Recommendations of the major professional associations  converge to a child’s first dental visit taking place early, at the time of the first tooth eruption (around age 6 months) or by age 1 year. In alignment with this, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry has been leading the Dental Check by One campaign, calling for children’s first dental checks to be carried out before their first birthdays. 

You may be aware of the current work by the Chief Dental Officer for England and NHS England in promoting early preventive care for young children, and the ‘Dental Check by One’ campaign led by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. In Cheshire and Merseyside the Starting Well Programme is currently being commissioned only in Priority areas where the prevalence of decay in 5 year olds is 30% or more, as identifies by Public Health Data.

However, if your practice is outside of these priority areas, you can still improve the dental oral health of very young children in your area by providing advice to their parents, encouraging them to bring their children in as soon as possible. To assist you please find attached and below links to resources which can be utilised which you are welcome to order/download:

Note for the Avoidance of Doubt link - https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/2017-10/20170927%20OCDO%20Note%20for%20the%20Avoidance%20of%20Doubt.pdf

Baby Teeth DO matter link http://babyteethdomatter.org/

Dental Check By One link - https://www.bspd.co.uk/Portals/0/DCby1%20Poster%20for%20dental%20practices.pdf

Brushing Twice is Nice – Tooth Brushing Chart - https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/69/resources/4016

A4 Poster - Come Back Soon - https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/69/resources/2673;%20https:/campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/69/resources/2672

A3 Poster - Be Sugar Smart - htps://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/69/resources/2672