The valuable role of orthodontics in improving dental health and well-being in children is represented today (24 February 2015) in a submission from the British Orthodontic Society to a one off Health Select Committee session to examine children’s oral health in England.
The evidence-based report from BOS details the broad spectrum of orthodontic problems seen in children and provides evidence on the benefits of treatment, from functional to psychological improvements.
BOS also emphasises the importance of the availability of NHS orthodontic treatment for children and the problems in some areas with waiting lists. The most recent Child Dental Health Survey found 44% of parents of 12-year-old children reported problems with either crooked or protruding teeth.
The BOS makes the following recommendations in their report:
– Paediatric restorative and orthodontic specialist services should be accessible to children and young people in all parts of the country to help reduce inequalities.
– The Department of Health should carry out a review of orthodontic waiting lists and provide funding for treatment in areas where lists are unacceptably long.
– More funding should be directed to areas of deprivation not only to deal with dental decay in young children, but to ensure that their dental development is not blighted by early extractions
Alison Murray, Chair of BOS, says: ‘Orthodontic treatment delivers important oral health improvements, whether it’s having teeth which are easier to clean or lower plaque scores. Meanwhile, individuals with only minor dental problems or no problems at all have a better Oral Health-related Quality of Life, particularly in relation to emotional and social well-being allowing them to function well in society.’