Piloting ‘Prevention in Practice: Putting Children First’
A shocking statistic
Yesterday the BBC published Children waiting over a year in pain for NHS tooth removal, highlighting the serious delays for children waiting for extractions under general anaesthesia and the impact this has not just on the children but their families and wider society.
Caries, a preventable disease, remains the most common reason for hospital admissions in six- to ten-year old children. It is an appalling statistic.
The importance of prevention keeps being touted, but implementation of the recommendations in Delivering Better Oral Health in general practice is not widespread. The BBC article refers to diet advice, school interventions and similar. These interventions, when planned well, work, as shown by the Childsmile programme in Scotland.
The risk factors for caries are common to other serious widespread diseases e.g. diabetes and obesity. So affecting caries prevalence should have wider significant health benefits too.
Let's make a difference
We have spent the last nine months developing Prevention in Practice: Putting Children First, a new course that will be free to access, continuously updated, and a starter pack consisting of toothbrushes and toothpaste available to all who participate. We hope that this will help embed prevention in dental teams by sharing good practice, and most importantly those teams sharing their experiences, whatever they may be.
Before its official launch in the autumn, we need help from our members to review the content, give us feedback and help us ensure that we deliver a resource that will help resign the news covered by the BBC to the history books. It will take time, but the dental professionals in primary care are key to this goal.