Oldham’s oral health improvement is also a great achievement for the Dental Playbox® !

Cheryl Howarth, Dental Playbox® Facilitator delivering a session at Oldham Library.

In May 2018, the National Oral Health survey of 5 year old children in the UK has been released. The survey’s aim is to measure the extent and severity of dental diseases among 5-year-old children within local communities to highlight any disparity. This year, very good news has reached our charity! The biennial survey presented the results for 2016/2017 positioning Oldham as the fourth highest performing authority, after it was placed ninth in the 2015/2016 survey. That’s an improvement of 16.1 per cent since the last survey! This is a great achievement for Oldham council, which invests in partnerships with several organisations and community groups, such as Action for Sick Children, in order to improve young children’s oral health.

Our presence in Oldham

We have been operating in Oldham since the survey in 2016 started. The goal is to run a 3 year-plan as agreed with Oldham Council. The 16.1 per cent improvement of oral health among 5-year-olds in Oldham represents a great accomplishment for our team. Cheryl, our Dental Playbox® Facilitator based in Oldham, delivers 100 dental sessions to nurseries and pre schools every academic year. She has been working for 35 years as an oral health promoter for the NHS. She spent most of her time in children’s dentistry as she enjoys working with kids. Her passion to work with them has definitely helped to achieve such a result among little kids still learning about how to take care of their teeth.

Our Chief Executive’s comment

The progress from the last national report is tangible and Action for Sick Children CEO, Val Jackson said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be able to deliver the Dental Playbox® project in Oldham and to have been a part of such a drastic reduction in tooth decay in children aged 5 and under. Our focus on using play to deliver the key oral health messages to children in the area has been a major part of the project’s success. I am incredibly proud of the team for being part of such a positive achievement”

And also…

Councillor Eddie Moores, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“We’re very pleased with the results as they show our oral health strategy to focus on improving oral health in the under-fives is succeeding. We are continuing to work hard in partnership with midwives, health visitors, children centres, school nurses and oral health workers to raise the awareness of the importance of looking after the teeth of our young people”

“We recognise that there is till much to do, particularly to narrow the gap with the national average. To do this we have a number of initiatives in place, not least being part of Greater Manchester’s Start Well programme which aims to improve oral health by building on our existing provision”

The Government launched the Starting Well Core programme to ensure children receive better dental advice. Their focus is on teaching the good habit of regularly visiting the dentist. The aim is the same as Action for Sick Children’s: reduce early childhood tooth decay.

To conclude, we are glad that our work is starting to show such significant results! We will keep working hard to achieve our objectives, reaching new children every week!

Supporting the Dental Playbox®

If you would like to ensure the Dental Playbox® receives support, you can donate via our JustGiving page by clicking here. Alternatively, the project accepts donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste (suitable for children aged 6 and under) to include in brushing bags like the ones given out at Fairway Primary School. You can drop off donations at the Action for Sick Children office: 10 Ravenoak Road, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 7DL.

Booking a Session with a Dental Playbox® Facilitator

If you would like the Dental Playbox® to visit your school or nursery, contact Sarah. Call her on 0161 486 6788 or drop her an email – sarah@a4sc.org