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FDS gives evidence in Parliamentary inquiry on children's oral health

24 Feb 2015

Leading dentist to call for stronger measures to reduce number of children’s hospital admissions for tooth decay at Parliamentary inquiry

Today Professor Nigel Hunt, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, will appear in front of the Health Select Committee to give evidence on the state of children’s oral health in England.

This follows a report produced by the Faculty last month which highlighted that tooth decay is the number one reason why 5 to 9 year olds in England are hospitalised, with 26,000 children admitted between 2013 – 2014 even though tooth decay is nearly entirely preventable. Almost a third of children are not seeing the dentist – a figure which has not shifted for a decade.

As part of the Faculty’s recommendations aimed at government, political parties and stakeholders, Professor Nigel Hunt will call for:

  • The Government to fund a national public health campaign so children and their parents have regular dental check-ups, while encouraging regular brushing, reduction in sugar consumption and support for roll out of water fluoridation;
  • Health & Social Care Information Centre’s statistics to begin to measure whether children are visiting the dentist every 12 months, in line with NICE standards, rather than every 2 years as currently recorded.
  • Further research to understand why some children are not regularly visiting the dentist and develop a strategy to ensure preventive measures are in place in areas with poor oral health.

Commenting in advance of today’s hearing, Professor Nigel Hunt said:

“As 90% of tooth decay is preventable, it is extremely concerning that so many children are being hospitalised for this.

“Evidence overwhelmingly shows that greater measures are needed by Public Health England, dentists, and parents to prevent children from  getting tooth decay.  Simple steps such as regular brushing, greater access to dentistry and water fluoridation schemes can improve children’s oral health and deliver savings to the NHS.

“Today’s health select committee hearing is long overdue and a welcome recognition of the critical need for action.”

The Health Select Committee hearing will take place in Committee room 8 at 14:30 on Tuesday 24th February 2015.


1. The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling dentists and specialists to provide patients with the highest possible standards of practice and care. Registered charity number: 212808.

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