Glasgow parents have voiced their support for a new £500,000 plan to improve the state of children's oral health in the city, as the results are revealed of a widespread consultation.
Now, the first steps are being taken towards enhancing the provision of preventative dental services for local children.
In response to the views of local parents and other interested parties, substantial improvements are being made to children's dental care in some of the most deprived areas of the city. Already at Bridgeton and Easterhouse Health Centres, the hours of operation have been increased in line with parents' wishes.
Plans are also being unveiled today for improvements at Parkhead and Townhead Health Centres, where services will expand to provide a full-time dental care facility for children.
Director of NHS Greater Glasgow's Community Dental Health Service, Ray McAndrew, believes this is the first step towards a long-term improvement in children's dental health: "I'm absolutely thrilled that we're able to put these improvements in place. The state of our children's oral health in Glasgow is a top priority for us, and it's important we work together with parents and other professionals to make sure we achieve the progress we're looking for.
"Making real differences on the ground in Bridgeton, Easterhouse, Parkhead and Townhead will - we hope - result in big improvements for our children. Naturally, these are only the first steps and we're looking forward to being able to do a lot more. But now we know what's really wanted by local communities, we're well on our way."
Hundreds of parents, children, politicians and health professionals' views were canvassed by NHS Greater Glasgow, to help determine how a Preventative Dental Health Service might take shape.
The results of the consultation reveal:
* Unanimous support for a Preventative Dental Health Service
* 60% support the service being available other than through their own dentist
* More than two thirds want services available in office hours
* 65% believe the service should be accessed by drop-in as well as by appointment
The money was secured earlier this year from the Scottish Executive to pay for a pilot project, aimed at preventing decay in some of the most deprived areas of Glasgow.
Some of the most popular practical steps being taken in the city's dental surgeries include providing information and support on toothbrushing and diet, painting fluoride varnish onto teeth, and painting fissure sealants onto the surface of back teeth to prevent decay.
At present, fewer than one child in five in the city has no decayed, missing or filled teeth.
Notes for Editors
* For more information contact Annalena Winslow at NHS Greater Glasgow Communications on 0141 201 4447.