Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP today called on the Scottish Government to set out how it will improve the dental health of children from more deprived backgrounds, after it was revealed a 2010 target is still being missed.
The statistics showed that just 55.8% of P1 children from the most deprived areas have no obvious decay, compared with 85.9% in the least deprived areas. This means that the Scottish Government’s target - that 60% of all P1 children should have no obvious decay experience by 2010 - still isn’t being met for those from more deprived backgrounds.
Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“While Scotland's dental health has improved steadily since the early 2000s, there is a big gap between the dental health of children from the most and least deprived backgrounds and it appears to be widening.
“The average child from the most deprived background has two decayed, missing or filled teeth by the time they reach primary 1. Their more affluent classmates have on average 0.45 teeth in bad shape.
“There needs to be quality dental care available in every community, alongside information on how parents can help children have a healthy diet and look after their teeth. The Scottish Government need to fill in the gaps and finally meet its 2010 target.”