The Community Dental Services team have been essential in supporting Flying Start’s diet and nutrition outcome and leading on oral health improvement for children in Luton. Luton has very high rates of dental decay in young children, significantly higher than national average. Over the years Sue Jordan and her team have developed a wide range of evidence based interventions to improve oral health, likely to have contributed to our significant increase in dental attendances of children under 5, which continues to improve year on year.

The Healthy Smiles programme has been a huge success in supporting Early Years settings in the most deprived areas of Luton with providing tooth friendly environments. As part of this CDS have supported around 20 settings with daily supervised tooth brushing, helping to develop children’s brushing skills as well as ensuring children have the opportunity to be brushing with fluoride daily. CDS has delivered a wide range of training to professionals across Luton including training our Flying Start Volunteers as oral health community champions to support us with getting key oral health messages out to the community. These are just a few examples of a wide range of interventions CDS have successfully developed and delivered.

On behalf of Luton Council I would like to say a huge thank you to Sue, Selina and Sharon for all of their hard work over the years. Unfortunately this service has been impacted by the huge financial cuts Luton Council have experienced over the last year and from April the current Oral Health Improvement Contract will cease. Flying Start and Luton Council will continue to work with Sue to identify funding opportunities and ensure that oral health remains a priority for Luton.