Brush-Baby Ensuring Children’s Dental Health Is On The Agenda At House of Parliament

Westminster Palace brush Baby healthcare professionals

The historic buildings of the House of Parliament have seen many decisions made over the years and Brush-Baby are hoping that the hallowed halls will see some more positive changes which will affect future generations. 

Brush-Baby are part of the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) which meets on a regular basis to discuss the importance of early years gum and toothcare which forms part of the Fit and Healthy Childhood debate. The topic on Wednesday was ‘Why Children’s Oral Health is Everybody’s Business.’

westiminster palace dental agenda healthcare

Baroness (Floella) Benjamin, part of many childhood memories, who co-chaired the group, demonstrated her passion for protecting children and the state of decay in children’s teeth and is dedicated to ‘making a difference’, alongside commitment from Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer England, Claire Stevens, Consultant Paediatric and Professor Michael Escudier , Dean of Dental Surgery Royal College, who have seen first-hand the reality of children’s tooth decay and who are determined to ensure that changes are made.

Claire Stevens delivered news on the huge successes she and her team have achieved reducing child waiting times in the Greater Manchester Area from 14 months to 6 months, made possible with the help and support of the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who included dentistry in his manifesto.

Sara Hurley updated the Committee on the Dental Check by One and launch of the Starting Well programme which encourages children to visit a dentist before their first birthday,  and  Professor Michael Escudier informed how Education, Access and Prevention were key in eradicating oral decay and how they are asking nurses, midwives, health visitors and pharmacists to play a role in providing oral health advice.

Did you know?

  • The average 5 year old consumes their own weight in sugar per year!
  • 26,000 hospital admissions were made in 2016-17 by children aged between 5-9 due to oral decay.
  • Which means twice as many 10 year olds were admitted to hospital for tooth decay as for broken arms in 2016/17!
  • 78.7% of children between the age of 1 & 2 did not visit a dentist last year
  • 90% of decay is preventable through regular toothbrushing , visits to the dentist and reduced sugar consumption.

Whilst our MP and peers are busy tabling written questions on children’s oral health to keep the topic at the forefront of all minds, what can we do?

  • BRUSH twice a day for 2 minutes using a fluoride toothpaste
  • Hold Local Government accountable on children’s oral health - ask your local MP about their Oral Health Promotion Scheme in your area, the Authority has been given money and the toolkits to support this.
  • Take your little ones to the dentist, NHS dental treatment is free for children  

As Sara Hurley, the Chief Dental Office for England concludes ‘Every child deserves the right to have a smile for life.’