Wales Health Minister Edwina Hart says schools and parents will play a key role in government plans to reduce tooth decay among children.
Ms Hart announced that a national oral health action plan for Wales will be developed which will set out a range of actions designed to improve oral health.
The aim is that by 2020 the dental health of five and 12-year-olds in the most deprived fifth of the population of Wales will improve to that presently found in the middle fifth.
Although precise details about how that will be achieved have yet to be published, Ms Hart did say community dentistry will be strengthened and schools and parents will play a vital role in the new ‘multi-agency approach to oral health’.
In a statement to the Assembly she said: ‘Wales has a poor record on oral health. Some of our children have some of the worst teeth in Europe.
‘The dental health of five-year-old children in Wales is the worst in Great Britain. This is not acceptable for what is an almost totally preventable disease.’