Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shocking Tooth about Oral Health

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Shocking Tooth about Oral Health

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN Local democracy reporter @JIMMYMCAIN

ENTIRE Middlesbrough households are without a toothbrush and one in three children have missing or decaying teeth - that is the stark findings of a new report.

Health workers are so worried about the state of the dental problem in Middlesbrough they are looking at handing out toothbrushes. New figures show the number of children with decayed, missing or filled teeth in Middlesbrough was 32.1% compared to a national average of 18.5%.

And they are investigating other ways of boosting the oral health of youngsters in the town.

Rebecca Scott, children's lead for Public Health South Tees, said: "We are trying to encourage families to get fluoride varnish on their children's teeth and talking about toothbrushing schemes.

"Some of our families won't own toothbrushes so we're looking at health visitors giving out toothbrush sets, just trying to raise the profile of the importance of oral health.

"A lot of parents don't even have teeth, they've fallen out, and they don't know the impact that has on speech and communication."

The findings come in a new report which looks at the scale of deprivation across Middlesbrough. Other worrying figures showed more than twice as many teenagers fall pregnant than the national average with almost a third of children living in poverty.

Elected members were updated on the reality of poverty in Middlesbrough at a town hall meeting of the council's children and young people's learning scrutiny panel on Monday.

Catherine Parker, consultant on public health for Public Health South Tees, told councillors that 30% of Middlesbrough's children are currently living in poverty.

In the most deprived wards, such as North Ormesby and Brambles and Thorntree, she said poverty was as high as 64%. …

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