Suffolk Smiles part of the Healthy Child Programme – Suffolk County Council

While oral health in Suffolk is generally good, just over 18 per cent of five-year-olds already have dental decay and in some parts of the county nearly a quarter have one or more decayed teeth.

Some of these children already have three to four decayed primary teeth by the time they start school. The health of its children is a priority for Suffolk and good oral health is an important part of general health and wellbeing.

To help improve oral health for children and give them the best start in life Suffolk County Council are developing their oral health improvement strategy and programmes for delivery. This includes providing a new oral health pack from January 2015 to be given to every mother at their child’s eight to nine month check.

The pack will include a child’s toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and a leaflet about oral health and reducing sugar intake. Health visitors are also giving advice on diet, feeding and weaning, caring for children’s teeth, tooth brushing and how to find a local dentist. The programme is planned to run for five years and the evaluation will look at a number of outputs and outcomes including uptake of the service, oral health outcomes and attendance at local dentists.