Recommendations for a NICE smile

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Toothbrushes

There seems to be uproar in the media surrounding recommendations from NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) that children be taught at nursery & in schools how to maintain their oral hygiene.

Some of those in the media are accusing NICE of creating a “supernanny state”.

These recommendations have come about due to the results received from a recent public health England survey which show that our oral hygiene has dropped across the country particularly among young children.

What do NICE recommend?

The basics of what NICE are recommending are as follows:

* improve our diets & reduce consumption of sugary foods/drinks, alcohol & tobacco.
* improve our oral hygiene.
* increase the availability of fluoride.
* encourage people to visit the dentist regularly.
* increase access to dental services.

They have also suggested that public services such as schools & leisure centres make drinking water freely available & give the choice of sugar-free food & drinks on site.

Media response

Some newspapers such as the Daily Mail have reacted angrily to these recommendations shouting in their headlines: “Now nanny state wants lessons in brushing teeth! Schools told they must help halt decay caused by children’s sugary diets.”

Personally (& this is my opinion not that of BWS) I think that the media is generally too quick to cart out the phrase “nanny state”.
Surely oral hygiene is something that should be talked about in a place of education? There are many of us who may think we are teaching our kid’s the right way to brush their teeth but are in fact not doing it right.
We all have the right to be educated in how to care for ourselves & should we choose not to follow what we are taught that is our right too.

Ultimately I think it is a good idea to teach kids about oral hygiene in nurseries & in primary schools. Educating them on the damage that certain foods can do to you is also something I agree with. I hope that by doing this at a young age the next generation of children will grow up with a healthier attitude to food.

With any luck what they are taught might also be passed on to their parents so previous generations can also start to appreciate the rewards of a healthier diet.

I for one wish that I was not so attracted to sugary foods, maybe if I had been educated at a young age I would have more will power to refuse them but then again maybe I wouldn’t!

^KH

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