The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has called on local authorities to offer oral health programmes for schoolchildren and people receiving support.
NICE advocates the benefits of councils offering tooth-brushing initiatives in nurseries and schools in areas where poor oral health in youngsters is an issue. A quality standard giving guidance to councils says that local authorities could offer school tooth-brushing schemes and initiatives delivering healthy eating advice. The advise can be read in full at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs139.
Central Role for Schools
Just as good clinical trial assistants are central to successful clinical trials, the institute wants early-years services and schools to be central to the development of good oral health habits in children.
NICE also wants to see organisations offering emergency dental care and advising patients about the importance of regular dental visits in the same way that clinical trial assistants, who can be found on websites such as http://www.gandlscientific.com/clinical-trial-assistants/, endeavour to maintain contacts and relationships to gain the maximum benefits for all parties concerned.
Professor Gillian Leng, NICE’s deputy chief executive, said the institute was ‘confident’ that the new quality standard would help to focus attention on the importance of maintaining oral health.
NICE also wants to see oral health included in the care plans of people receiving support, meaning that people can be helped with oral hygiene or referred to dental services if necessary.
Developing Good Habits
Dr Gill Davies, a quality standard advisory committee member and public oral health consultant, said that ensuring that oral health was considered in day-to-day assistance plans was a pleasing inclusion in the quality standard, whilst the guidance for schools and early-years services was important to ensure that children learn good habits early.
A quarter of all five-year-olds in England currently suffer from poor oral health, according to Public Health England’s Dr Sandra White. She added that it was also an issue that was regularly overlooked in care homes for older people.
She said that Public Health England welcomes the new quality standard, as almost 25 per cent of England’s five-year-olds have had some type of experience with obvious tooth decay.
This figure was compiled as part of a 2015 dental survey by Public Health England, which found that children in this category had an average of 3.4 decayed, filled or missing teeth.