CHILDREN'S TEETH: JOHNSTONE SAYS INEQUALITY MUST BE TACKLED
Alison Johnstone MSP, health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today highlighted official figures showing a persistent inequality gap in children's dental health.
The National Dental Inspection Programme shows that although, on average, 75 per cent of P7 children have no obvious tooth decay, a two per cent increase on last year, there remains a 21 point difference between children in the least and most deprived communities.
85 per cent of children in the least deprived communities have no sign of decay; in the most deprived communities the figure falls to 64 per cent.
Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, said:
"While the overall trend is a positive one, there is clearly work to do to close the inequality gap. We know that young children with decay are very likely to have problems with their adult teeth, so establishing good habits at an early age is vital.
"In communities where families are struggling to make ends meet we should be increasing our efforts on children's dental health. We should ensure breakfast clubs have the resources they need for tooth brushing schemes and that schools are supported to help children avoid sugary sweets and drinks. And it underlines the need to tackle income inequality through policies such as a real living wage, rent controls and energy efficient homes."