Good oral health enables us to eat, speak and socialise without pain or embarrassment. It is a fundamental part of general health and wellbeing, exerting a direct influence on quality of life.
While oral health in Scotland has improved in recent years, our track record remains poor compared to other areas of the UK. This is particularly apparent in children, with over 60% in Grampian already exhibiting some form of dental decay by the time they reach 12 years of age.
In Grampian, we are working together to raise awareness of the benefits of good oral health and, in doing so, hope to improve the oral health of the next generation. The Scottish Executive's Action Plan for improving oral health and modernising NHS Dental Services was produced in March 2005 and, from this, a local plan was devised, the NHS Grampian Dental Action Plan 2008-12, to take forward these initiatives, including:
Ther are many things that we can do that will help improve both our oral and general health including:
There are practices in Grampian registering new adult and child NHS patients. If you would like details of these practices, please call the Dental Information and Advice Line (DIAL) on 0345 45 65 990. DIAL is available between 8:05am to 5:45pm Monday to Friday and can also answer any questions about dental services or treatment and can help if you have an urgent dental problem.
If you need to access emergency dental treatment outside working hours, this is done through NHS 24 by telephoning 111 after 6pm Monday to Friday and any time Saturday and Sunday.
Regular dental check ups are particularly important for young people while their teeth are developing. DIAL can help with advice about registering your child with a dental practice and NHS dental treatment is free for all children under 18 years of age.
For more information about oral health improvement in Grampian, please contact:
Karen Tosh, Oral Health Improvement Co-ordinator
Katie Cunningham, Oral Health Improvement Advisor
You can also visit the Teeth TLC website www.teethtlc.com for all the information you need to attain and promote life-long oral health.