Innovation in children’s dentistry with Starting Well.
The launch of the new Starting Well scheme has been welcomed by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD).
It is seen as an important step in trying to reduce oral health inequalities in children. Starting Well is to operate in 13 areas of England where children’s oral health is worst. Dental practices will, among other initiatives, hold open days and family events to improve access for young children.
The first launch event took place in Greater Manchester in September at the AJ Bell stadium and was well attended by dental teams as well as a range of healthcare professionals. Greater Manchester is home to four of the Starting Well areas: Salford, Rochdale, Oldham and Bolton.
Claire Stevens, President of British Society Paediatric Dentistry, who was present as Chair of the Manchester Managed Clinical Network for paediatric dentistry, said: “Starting Well is a very important initiative and BSPD welcomes its launch wholeheartedly. It provides the opportunity for dentists to work innovatively in their communities, reaching out to all the professionals who work with young families with consistent messages in relation to prevention.
“We are delighted that Dental Check by One is an important part of the scheme and look forward to seeing the improvements in children’s oral health which must surely ensue. We hope that ultimately the learning points from Starting Well will be rolled out into all areas of the UK.”
Among the planned activities are:
· Outreach to families in high-risks areas to teach children about the importance of their dental health
· Tooth brushing clubs in early years settings and at health fairs and schools parents’ evenings.
· Toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste packs will also be given to children most at risk of tooth decay.
The nine other areas where Starting Well schemes are launching are Middlesborough, Blackburn, Kingston-upon-Hull, Wakefield, Blackpool, Leicester, Luton, Ealing and Slough.