Wakefield has lowest rate of tooth decay in children in West Yorkshire
The number of
five-year-olds with tooth decay in the Wakefield district has fallen
dramatically thanks to new initiatives by Wakefield Council.
The latest Public Health England oral health survey results show that the
numbers of five year olds with tooth decay has fallen to its lowest level in
the district since 2008.
The latest figures show that in 2018 the numbers of those that had experienced
tooth decay had fallen to 28.8%, down from 33.8% in 2008.
Wakefield now has the lowest percentage of children with tooth decay compared
to the other local authorities in West Yorkshire, with the average figure in the
Yorkshire and Humber region being 30.4%.
Cllr Pat Garbutt at a children's oral health workshop
Cllr Pat Garbutt,
Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “We have worked
very hard over the last few years to improve our children’s oral health
services and deliver new initiatives, such as providing every single Wakefield
child with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
“We’re continuing to work with our partners to promote the importance of good
oral health for children at a young age. This helps to ensure that good habits
are continued into adulthood.”
Wakefield Council, as part of the multi-agency oral health advisory group, has
introduced a number of schemes to improve children’s oral health. Over 4,000
toothbrushes and toothpaste have been supplied to children through their health
visitor to encourage parents and carers to start tooth brushing with fluoride
toothpaste as soon as the first tooth erupts.
A £13.5k funding pot has been made available for primary schools in the
district to set up supervised tooth brushing schemes, with approximately 300
children already benefitting. Information is also supplied to all primary
schools in the district with advice and information on good oral health care.
Work has also taken place with pharmacies to promote awareness of children’s
oral health messages.
The 2017 survey also shows that the average number of teeth affected by decay
in Wakefield was 0.9. This is lower than the Yorkshire and Humber average of
1.1. This is a significant improvement in the severity of tooth decay compared
with 2015 when it was 1.6.
Cllr Garbutt added: “The lowering rates of tooth decay is great news but there
is still more we can do to stop tooth decay from occurring in the first
instance and reducing the number of children requiring tooth extractions due to
“We urge all parents and carers to make sure that children brush their teeth
twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, limit sugary food and drink and have
regular check-ups at their dentist.”
To see the full Public Health England oral health survey results that were
issued this week, as well as more oral health surveys, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/oral-health#surveys-and-intelligence:-children
For more information on good oral health practices, or support in finding an NHS
Dentist, please visit www.nhs.uk