London Mayor makes moves to improve child oral health in capital

London Mayor makes moves to improve child oral health in capital

All schools in London should be sugar-free by 2022, according to health experts.  The London Assembly Health Committee said some schools in the capital have already banned sugary drinks, crisps and chocolate in packed lunches. But it said bad dental health is unfairly spread around London and sugar is one of the biggest causes of bad teeth.

The committee’s report ‘Child Dental Health: Keeping the tooth fairy away’ recommends schools should supervise children brushing their teeth and says every child in London should see a dentist at least by age one.

It says: “Children’s dental health in London is poor; by the time our children reach the age of five, over a quarter are suffering from tooth decay. At the same time, child dental health is uneven across London. Outcomes vary from 14% of 5-year-olds with tooth decay in Bexley to 40% in Harrow.

This spring we have been investigating the determinants of good child dental health. This report is our summary of possible steps to improve children’s dental health in London.  Each page in this report covers one of the key topics that were raised from the conversations we had during this investigation.

See report at:

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/childrens_dental_health_output.pdf

Committee chair, Dr Onkar Sahota, said: “Schools are the centre of a child’s education and a commitment to sugar-freedom would be revolutionary. Every child in London could have a sugar-free start in life – the health benefits would be enormous.’

The BDA’s Len D’Cruz, who gave evidence to the Committee said: “This is precisely the sort of leadership we need to see from authorities in London. Children’s oral health has been slipping back across the capital, and investment, engagement and education are key. Mayor Khan has made a commitment to make London the world’s healthiest city. He now has a clear blueprint to achieve that goal with our children’s teeth. This city can set a gold standard that the rest of England needs to follow.”

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