Urgent call for government to fund more children’s supervised tooth brushing programmes
Given that approximately 36,500 children are admitted to hospital each year for tooth extractions at an average cost of £836 per child for a general anaesthetic (equating to approximately £30.5mil of government spend), implementing nationwide oral health education initiatives and supervised tooth brushing programmes could save the NHS nearly £30million pounds.
To put this into context, a new national independent survey by the charity has revealed that an astonishing 24.7 per cent of parents are at risk of neglecting their child’s wellbeing by being unconcerned that their child is at risk of tooth decay if they don’t’ brush their teeth regularly. This reiterates the need for additional parental oral health education opportunities in order to emphasise the importance of the issue at hand.
Furthermore, the Dental Wellness Trust is calling for all professionals that have regular interaction with children to be on high alert for possible safeguarding where cases are found of severe dental decay – with responsibility not lying solely with social services. Where parents or carers repeatedly fail to access dental treatment for a child’s tooth decay or leave dental pain untreated, alarm bells should ring for all those working with or responsible for children to consider neglect, says the charity.