CDOs from England, Wales and Scotland, along with other major organisations across dentistry gathered today to launch the Dental Check by One campaign.
The campaign, by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD), aims to remind parents and guardians of the importance of children seeing a dentist by the age of one.
The BSPD believes the first visit to the dentist is an important opportunity for a child to start a life of positive dental care and for parents to get advice on how to keep their child’s teeth healthy and strong.
‘Children as young as two and three are being admitted to hospital for extractions under general anaesthetic, which is why we need to reach families early to provide support on prevention,’ Claire Stevens, a consultant in paediatric dentistry and president of BSPD, said.
‘We hope Dental Check by One will raise awareness of looking after children’s teeth from an early age – baby teeth do matter!’
Sara Hurley, CDO for England, spoke at the launch, congratulating the BSPD and Claire Stevens for raising the importance of child oral health.
Fresh from speaking live on BBC News, Sara backed the campaign, reminding dentists that a check up for a one-year-old child is covered under the 2006 dental contract – ‘Don’t be afraid to do a dental check by one’, she said.
‘The opportunities and benefits of Dental Check by One are a vital element in addressing health inequality and securing a smile for life for every child,’ Sara continued.
‘Working together with families, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry and the dental profession we are taking a major step forward in realising our ambition of a generation of children cavity free.’
Margie Taylor, CDO for Scotland, also took the opportunity to congratulate the BSPD for its Dental Check by One campaign.
Speaking about the interview on BBC News earlier in the morning, Margie said: ‘Congratulations on your Dental Check by One campaign.
‘I think to get a couple of minutes on national TV like that is tremendous and is worth an enormous amount (to help spread the importance of a Dental Check by One).’
Colette Bridgman, CDO for Wales, highlighted the importance oral health campaigns can have on children.
Designed2smile was launched in Wales in 2010 and has helped to reduce the number of children experiencing decay from half of the population to just over 30%.
‘I believe if we’re not delivering for our children, what are we doing?’ Colette said.
‘This is one of the most important groups in the population and they need a focus.’
Among the other organisations pledging their support for the Dental Check by One campaign are: the British Medical Association, the Local Government Association, the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons (England), the Faculty of General Dental Practice(UK), the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Oral Health Foundation, the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association, the British Orthodontic Society, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Institute of Health Visiting, the British Association of Dental Nurses, the Society of British Dental Nurses, the Oral Health Promotion Group and Public Health England.