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Green Party councillor welcomes chance to debate dental health

Sheffield Council is to review the city’s dental health at a meeting of the Health Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 19th July.

Councillors will be able to put questions to a range of dentistry and public health consultants from Public Health England, the University Hospitals, the NHS and the Council.

The public can also attend and ask questions.

Green Party Councillor Douglas Johnson first asked for the issue of dental health to come to the Health Scrutiny Committee in 2016 because of the link to social inequality, especially with children.

The consultants’ report to the committee states that:

Poor oral health remains a public health problem with social inequalities both in the prevalence and impact of dental diseases and in access to dental services. Poor oral health has a significant impact on both the individual and wider society including pain, discomfort, time off work and school, self-consciousness and low self-esteem.

Douglas Johnson said,

“I asked for the Committee to discuss childhood dental health in particular because of the link with inequality.  The report shows that children living in the most deprived areas of the city had average tooth decay levels four times higher than those in the least deprived areas.

“Dental problems in childhood have a big impact on children’s overall health, development and education.

“This is no way to start a healthy life.”

Jason Leman, of Sheffield Equality Group, welcomed the move, saying:

“We know there are multiple issues around poverty that can make it much more of a challenge for children and adults to look after their health. Anything that can be done to reduce the impact would be most welcome.”

“In the long run, the best way to reduce inequality in dental health across our city is to support people towards healthier lifestyles. That means providing households and communities with not just support around health, but economic and social support too.”

Notes

The Committee agenda and public health report are at http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=6753&x=1

Topics: Children, City Wide, Council, Douglas Johnson, Featured, Health

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