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Families in Essex are encouraged to brush up on their oral health habits

Tooth decay and extractions are the number one reason for hospital admissions for six-to-ten-year olds. Good oral hygiene from a young age can improve self-esteem and children are less likely to need time off school for procedures and recovery.

16,000 2-and-a-half year olds across Essex are receiving a free oral health pack – including a toothbrush, information and advice on accessing dental services and help keeping good oral hygiene.

ECFWS is run by Virgin Care in partnership with children’s charity Barnardo’s, who provide free and easy access health services in the community.

Virgin Care’s Managing Director for ECFWS, Richard Comerford said “We want to help every child in Essex to adopt healthy dental hygiene habits from a young age as we know this helps their health and social development. It is important that families are given the right advice and that children see their dentist at regular intervals”.

The project is working with Essex County Council, Community Dental Services and NHS England to help improve and understand accessibility to dental services for families in the region.

Adrian Coggins, Head of Wellbeing and Public Health Commissioning at Essex County Council said, “For children and families, having good oral hygiene is extremely important for them socially and for their general health. It’s schemes like this that make us commissioners proud to partner with the likes of Virgin Care and Barnardo’s in the wider NHS system. By working together across the system to agreed shared outcomes we can make a real and direct difference together to the communities we serve”.

The past year has seen the number of routine dental visits fall – however dentists are open for both routine and urgent appointments. Children should have their first check up by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of their first tooth coming through. If your child needs urgent dental advice and you are not registered with a dentist, please call 111 who will be able to help.

For more information, useful links and support go to essexfamilywellbeing.co.uk/oral-health-resources/

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