Oral Health Plan for England unveiled
 

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Oral Health Plan for England unveiled

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Oral Health Plan for England unveiled

 

Oral Health Plan for England unveiled

The Oral Health Plan for England was launched last week by the Department of Health’s (DoH) acting chief dental officer, Barry Cockcroft.

The plan, which supports the new contracts for dentists in promoting preventive oral care, will help Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) target poor oral health across the country.

It sets out a number of key measures that local PCTs can take to improve the oral health in their own communities.

‘Reducing health inequalities across England remains a major challenge,’ said Cockcroft as he unveiled the plan at Lister Health Centre, Southwark.
Choosing Better Oral Health, has a six-step programme aimed at improving oral heath and reducing health inequalities.

These include:

• Fluoride - increasing the use of fluoride will help prevent tooth decay. This is one the main
reasons for improvement in oral health over the last 30 years
• Improving diet and reducing sugar intake - dental health will be improved by reducing the frequency and amount of added sugars consumed in line with the Government's target of 11% of food energy
• Encouraging preventive
dental care - oral diseases are preventable
• Reducing smoking - Smoking is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease and oral cancer
• Increasing early detection of mouth cancer - raising awareness of mouth cancer will lead to its reduction
• Reducing dental injuries - people playing contact sports should wear mouth shields.

Commenting on the new plan, Cockcroft said: ‘Oral health has improved vastly over the past 30 years, and under the new contracts dentists are providing more preventive care, but there is still more to do.’ Despite the overall improvements there are still inequalities in oral health throughout the country, said Cockcroft.
The British Dental Association (BDA) applauded the aims of the plan, but stressed that there must be the right level of resource as well as the appropriate workforce in place if the plan’s vision is to become a reality.

Prof Liz Kay, chair of the BDA’s Health & Science Committee, said; ‘The plan gives a powerful message about the importance of oral health and the inequalities which still exist across the country.

‘The BDA fully supports moves to extend water fluoridation, the need to cut down on sugar and sweet drinks, especially in schools, and the increased emphasis on stopping smoking.’

But she added; ‘There is a widely-acknowledged dental workforce shortage and those who are currently working within the system are already under a great deal of pressure. For the plan to succeed, these issues must be addressed.’

 Posted on : Fri 25th - Nov - 2005

 

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