BSPD issues paediatric oral health Blueprint

As the new PM, Liz Truss puts her new administration together and sets out her policies, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) sets out its ‘Blueprint to improve children’s oral health’ – with specific guidance on how best to get paediatric dentistry in the UK back on track.
The Society’s message to the PM’s new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Therese Coffey, is a list of the following 10 steps:

BSPD’s Blueprint to improve children’s oral health

1. Every child and young person (CYP) should have a dental home

2. Deliver a Dental Check by One (DCby1) before every baby’s first birthday

3. Support vulnerable groups (asylum seeking children, looked after children and those in poverty) by expanding supervised toothbrushing schemes in early years settings, community water fluoridation and increasing the free school meals offer

4. Drive an equitable recovery of general anaesthetic (GA) services

5. Enable effective and funded Managed Clinical Networks (MCN)

6. Oversee true integration of oral health, with initiatives such as Mini Mouth Care Matters (MMCM)

7. Ensure targeted, evidence-based intervention for vulnerable groups such as Looked After Children, CYP with learning disabilities and/or autism

8. Upskill and contractually enable primary dental care practitioners to provide evidence-based
interventions using schemes such as Child Friendly / Focused Dental Practices (CFDP)

9. Support and develop the whole oral healthcare team

10. Expand the paediatric dental workforce – including provision of tier 2 services and recruiting
community based specialists and consultants

The coming months will see BSPD focus attention on vulnerable groups in our communities as the priority. These groups include neglected children, children living in poverty (an alarming percentage of the population will be less able to afford toothbrushes and toothpaste this winter), asylum seekers and refugees. If put into action, the Society’s blueprint would ensure that those most in need will be supported.

Professor Claire Stevens CBE, BSPD’s spokesperson said: “Our message to Liz Truss and Therese Coffey is – If you put the Society’s blueprint into action, we will be ensuring those most in need will be supported. We have to remember that tooth decay remains the leading reason for hospital admissions among 5 to 9 year olds. This is wholly unacceptable when we consider that dental caries is a largely preventable disease.”

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