543 Dental Centre is very proud to a key partner with Teeth Team, helping improve the dental health of local children since 2010. Teeth Team recently published its annual report – here are the highlights.
The underlying problem
Despite some improvement in the dental health of children in England during the past few decades, inequalities continue to exist between and within different regions of the country. The Royal College of Surgeons: The state of children’s oral health in England (2014), stated in its overview, “Almost a third of five-year-olds are suffering from tooth decay, there are significant regional inequalities, and it is the most common single reason why five to nine-year-olds are admitted to hospital. In some cases, children are admitted for multiple tooth extractions under general anaesthetic, despite tooth decay being almost entirely preventable.”
The oral health of children in Hull and the East Riding is similar to England and Wales as a whole, however within the area there are significant inequalities. 37.8% of five-year- olds in Hull have tooth decay, compared with the national average of 24.8%. This not only impacts significantly on the individual child, but also the costs to society are high in terms of days lost at work for parents, the actual monetary cost of carrying out the treatment required and of course the impact on the general health of the nation as a whole.
So what is Teeth Team?
Started in Hull in 2010, Teeth Team is a supervised tooth brushing programme with clinical assessments and applications of fluoride varnish that takes place in schools, with the help of several ‘superhero’ characters. There is an excellent relationship between the schools and Teeth Team, as many schools consider the partners in Teeth Team to be part of their school community.
The results so far
In the time period from January 2014 until December 2014, 579 children between the ages of 2 and 16 years experienced a general anaesthetic (GA) for dental extractions, with the largest group (112 children) being just 5 years old. Although these figures were still high, we did see a reduction of 16.5%.
In 2015 the number of children experiencing a GA locally had fallen yet again, to 560 indicating a further reduction of 3.3%. Therefore, in just three years we have seen a reduction in the number of paediatric GAs for extractions in our local children by 19.8%.
Teeth Team currently work with 24 schools in Hull and East Riding, but have been invited to collaborate on extending the program to schools in Lincolnshire. North Yorkshire and South Humberside.
At 543, we are extremely proud the program is having such a positive impact and expanding nationally, as there is still much work to be done educating children and their parents about the importance of good oral health.[x_button shape=”rounded” target=”blank” size=”regular” float=”none” href=”/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Teeth-Team-Annual-Report-2016-.pdf” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT[/x_button]