Wales

Dental health improvement for five-year-olds in Wales

Dentist Image copyright PA

Children's oral health in Wales has experienced the most significant improvement since records began, a survey of five-year-olds has shown.

Dental decay has reduced by 12% in that age group since 2008, the Cardiff University study found.

There has also been a reduction in the average number of teeth affected when children have tooth decay.

The Welsh Government said its Designed to Smile scheme had helped improve dental health.

Launched seven years ago, it supervises tooth brushing at schools and nurseries in disadvantaged areas.

The report, which showed the results of a NHS dental survey of year one school pupils, said: "Dental disease levels in children in Wales continue to improve across all social groups.

"There is no evidence of widening inequalities here.

"This is in contrast with surveys prior to 2007 when improved decay levels were normally associated with widening inequality."

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "Levels of dental disease are reducing across all social groups - we are closing the dental health gap between the poorest and the most advantaged children in Wales."

More than 91,000 children in 1,439 schools and nurseries are taking part in the Designed to Smile supervision scheme.

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