Childsmile goes the distance in encouraging dental registrations

THE NUMBER of children registered with a dentist in NHS Lothian continues to rise and remains above the Scottish average, as shown by new statistics published today.

Just over 77% of children and young people under 18 are registered across the region, compared to the Scottish average of 73.8%.

New efforts to promote dental hygiene in nurseries and the first years of school are working, with NHS Lothian achieving a key access target two years early by registering children between 3 and 5 year of age, well ahead of the 2010 target of 80%.

Just under 85% of the region's three to five year-olds are registered with an NHS dentist, again ahead of the Scottish average of 77.3%.

The figures were published today by ISD Scotland.

Colwyn Jones, Consultant in Dental Public Health, NHS Lothian, said:

"These figures are very encouraging and are a tribute to both the excellent NHS dentists we have across Lothian and to the hard work going on in nurseries and schools to encourage children and parents to look after their teeth."
"We're working with our local authority colleagues in the national Childsmile project, which is an excellent, evidence based initiative promoting tooth-brushing with fluoride toothpaste."
"There is also capacity to register more NHS patients and currently we have about 20 dental practices across Lothian registering all categories of NHS patient. If anyone would like more information on how to register, or find out which practices are taking on new NHS patients, please call our contact line on 0131 537 8444." 
29/07/2008