Why Children’s Dental Health Is Everybody’s Business

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The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPH) partnered with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer (OCDO) and the British Society for Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) to host a one-day conference, dedicated to children’s oral health.

Entitled “Why Children’s Dental Health is Everybody’s Business”, the conference was attended by professionals working with children, including dentists, health visitors, school nurses and paediatricians.

The conference was developed to highlight the current issues surrounding children’s oral health and the importance for professionals working with children to spot early signs of poor dental hygiene. Monitoring a child’s oral health should be a regular practice towards a child’s general well-being and it’s never too early to consider dental care. Parents or guardians should consider first visits to the dentist before the age of 1.

All professionals who have contact with young children have a responsibility to call out for any warning signs of bad health. If dental problems among children are left too late and not resolved earlier on, there could be serious consequences on a child’s future and happiness.

The day commenced with Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE, and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on A Fit and Healthy Childhood, delivering her key note address, “Why a child’s bright smile bodes well for a healthier, brighter future”, Baroness Benjamin stressed how important it was for children’s oral health to be on the Government’s radar and that NHS dentistry should be properly funded. “Children with higher levels of disease in primary teeth are at higher risk of disease in secondary teeth,” said the Baroness.

Claire Stevens, a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester and part of the BSPD (British Society of Paediatric Dentists) Dental Check by One campaign, spoke about her week as curator of the NHS Twitter account last October when she broadcasted messages about children’s oral health to 23,000 followers. She emphasised the importance of reaching out to audiences in different ways and the power of Social Media to bring a cause to people’s attention.

Here at Brush-Baby, we are always keen to promote early-years gum and toothcare and found it beneficial to be in like-minded company. We will continue to ensure that everybody realises that baby teeth do matter.