Scheme to improve children's dental health successful

The Welsh Government programme Designed to Smile, which goes into schools and nurseries, as well as early intervention measures from birth, has helped to reduce tooth decay in five year olds.

Tooth decay is one of the highest reasons for hospital admissions among young children with them undergoing tooth extractions under general anaesthesia.

Before Designed to Smile launched in 2009, half of five year olds in Wales had tooth decay. Since its introduction this has been reduced to a third – around 4,000 fewer five year olds having decay.

The programme has also seen a 35 per cent reduction in the number of children undergoing dental procedures under general anaesthesia in the last six years. Resulting in 3,200 less children a year having to undergo treatment to remove decayed teeth.  

Each year over 90,000 children in 1,200 schools and nurseries take part in the tooth brushing scheme run by Designed to Smile.

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