Nursery toothbrushing reduces decay

A nursery toothbrushing programme has produced a saving to the cost of children's dental treatment of just under £6million.

A study carried out by the University of Glasgow has found that in 2009/10, the toothbrushing initiative had seen the cost of treating dental disease reduce by over 50 per cent since 2001/02. It was led by Lorna Macpherson, Professor of Dental Public Health at the University of Glasgow's Dental School.

The programme, which began in 2001 and costs around £1.9 million each year, sees every in Scotland offering free, daily, supervised toothbrushing for their children by nursery staff.

It is part of the Childsmile programme, which emphasises the importance of toothbrushing and helps parents establish a healthy diet from the earliest stage.

A number of nurseries and schools in targeted areas also provide fluoride varnish and toothbrushing in primary one and two.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: "This is an amazing achievement and shows just how much can be saved from a very simple health intervention – toothbrushing in nursery schools.

"This has seen less tooth decay in children which means less toothache, fewer sleepless nights and less time off school.

"By this simple measure, NHS costs associated with the of five-year-old children have decreased dramatically.

"More children can just be treated routinely in the dental chair because they need less invasive treatments, so fewer fillings and fewer extractions, and many more with much better oral health than we have seen in many years.

"A very big well done and congratulations to all those, particularly nursery staff, who have been involved in delivering this very successful project which also delivers tremendous value for money."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fluoride treatments may help fight cavities

Nov 01, 2013

(HealthDay)—Applying prescription-strength fluoride directly to the teeth can benefit patients at increased risk for cavities, a new expert panel concludes.

Most people brush their teeth in the wrong way

May 15, 2012

Almost all Swedes brush their teeth, yet only one in ten does it in a way that effectively prevents tooth decay. Now researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, are eager to teach Swedes how to brush ...

Programs may prevent tooth decay in tots

Jun 15, 2011

A toddler’s tiny teeth are destined to fall out in later years as their permanent pearly whites grow in. But for some children, especially those from low-income families, cavities and poor oral health lead to complicated ...

Recommended for you

Viewing dentistry in a new light

Jul 25, 2014

Dental X-rays expose patients to radiation, require time to process, and can only "see" a limited amount inside the mouth.

Encouraging teeth to self-repair

Jun 16, 2014

Dentists could soon be giving your teeth a mild 'time warp' to encourage them to self-repair, thanks to a new device being developed by dental researchers. Reminova Ltd, a new spin-out company from King's ...

User comments