Scottish nursery toothbrushing scheme delivers major savings

Dental / Dental Practitioner News

The Scottish government has highlighted the significant savings unlocked by the introduction of a nursery toothbrushing programme in 2001.

A study carried out by the University of Glasgow found that in 2009/10, the toothbrushing initiative cut the cost of treating dental disease by more than 50 percent since 2001/02, reducing the bill for children's dental treatment by just over six million pounds.

“A nursery toothbrushing scheme in Scotland has helped to reduce the cost of children's dental treatment in the country by six million pounds.“

Every nursery in Scotland offers free, daily, supervised toothbrushing for children, delivered by nursery staff, with the scheme costing around 1.8 million pounds annually.

It has resulted in less toothache, fewer sleepless nights and less time off school for the young children who receive care through this scheme.

Minister for public health Michael Matheson said: "More children can just be treated routinely in the dental chair because they need less invasive treatments, so fewer fillings and fewer extractions."

The toothbrushing initiative is part of Childsmile, a national programme designed to improve the oral health of children in Scotland, while reducing inequalities both in dental health and access to dental services.

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