To give baby smiles the best start in life, dental professionals launched a national campaign, two years ago, called Dental Check by 1 (DCB1).
It is recognised that too many children have experienced tooth decay, a preventable disease, in early years. DCB1 encourages families to take babies to the dentist from 6 months of age; they may not have teeth, however, families will receive age-appropriate preventative advice to ensure healthy smiles are achieved for their child. It will help babies and children become accustomed to visiting the dental team, from an early age. It is also a good time for Mums to make the most of their free NHS dental visits as they receive free treatment up until their baby is a year old.
Since the campaign started evidence is emerging that areas of higher risk of tooth decay were unexpectedly more likely to report higher dental access rates. It appears that those children who are in greatest need, are able to access a dentist.
This is good news for Luton children and is indicative of people across our communities, understanding the importance of good oral health and supporting the campaign. We are monitoring an increase in dental attendance across Luton, for expectant women, and 1, 3 and 5 year olds; however there is still more work to be done!
Luton has may NHS dental practices across the town who are ready to welcome very young children and their families. To find a dentist in your area please call NHS 111 or visit the web site www.nhs.uk
Information is also available on the 12 Top Tips for Teeth poster which is available to download from Flying Start or CDS: 12 Top Tips
There is a new campaign by NHS England and NHS Health Improvement – Midlands and Public Health England (launched Summer 2019) called A little trip to the dentist. Please check out the link for further information, resources and useful downloads. https://www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/2019/06/20/campaign-a-little-trip-to-the-dentist/
Early years settings participating in the Healthy Smiles (HS) programme are certainly supporting theses key campaigns by conducting an annual audit of their children attending a dentist (or not); this acts as a prompt for families that need a reminder and re-audits have resulted in an increase in attendance.
Settings are doing a tremendous job in delivering daily supervised tooth brushing; giving children the opportunity of an additional blob of fluoride toothpaste (NOT replacing brushing last thing at night and one other time in the day, at home). Feedback from families, settings and children have been very positive and the numbers of children participating is gaining momentum. A Role of Honour of settings names will be published, once we have all the evidence for achieving the HS Standards, later this year.
For further information please contact: Sue Jordan, Asst Director Oral Health Improvement Community Dental Services
01234 331635 firstname.lastname@example.org