The London Assembly is seeking answers to ‘key questions’, including:
- Why is dental health among London’s children so poor?
- Why do some London boroughs appear to be going backwards on dental health outcomes for children?
- What impact does poor dental/oral health have on children’s development?
- What is access to free NHS dental services like for different groups of London’s children?
- What action is already being taken to address this problem at local levels in London?
- What can be done to raise parental awareness of the need for good child dental health?
- How can the Mayor help, through his existing programmes and other activity?
Londoners are being asked to contribute by visiting www.london.gov.uk/talk-london/health/children-dental-health.
Oral health inequalities
Sadiq Khan pledged to improve children’s oral health in the capital last year with the London Health Inequalities Strategy.
The plan sets out the Mayor’s aims and objectives for addressing health inequalities in London.
In the strategy Sadiq Khan calls on the NHS, local authorities and Public Health England to improve access to dental care.
‘We’ve made our case to City Hall and welcome the aspirations set out in the Mayor of London’s Inequalities Strategy,’ BDA health and science chair, Russ Ladwa, said at the time.
‘Tooth decay is a wholly preventable disease.
‘There is no reason why it remains the number one reason a child in this city will be admitted to hospital.’
Almost half (43%) of Westminster 10 to 11-year-olds are obese or overweight, health leaders say.
The London borough also has a higher than average percentage (35.1%) of five-year-olds experiencing tooth decay.
Health leaders will now be focusing on three key areas in Westminster in the coming year – dementia, loneliness and sugar.
‘This is a really serious issue for us.’ community resilience manager for public health, Christine Mead, said.
‘Children’s health can have long-term consequences for children.’