The British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has called on the Scottish Executive to take action to combat tooth decay problems afflicting thousands of children.
The BDHF said it would be writing to health minister Susan Deacon asking her to support moves to put fluoride in Scotland’s water supplies. The call follows the publication of research which showed more than half of Scottish children were suffering from tooth decay by the time they started school.
The BDHF said poor dental health was linked to deprivation and said fluoridation was “simple, inexpensive and safe”. The Scottish NHS Consultants in Dental Public Health found 55% of youngsters had decaying teeth, a level which the Executive is aiming to cut to 40% within 10 years.
Tooth decay was most prevalent in Glasgow, where two-thirds of five-year-olds have suffered decay, compared to 35% in the Borders.
The report also found that children in deprived areas were five times more likely to get abscesses, which often leads to teeth being extracted.