Keith Vaz – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Keith Vaz on 2015-11-10.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to improve children’s oral health in England through (a) diet and (b) other methods.

Jane Ellison

Our comprehensive childhood obesity strategy, due to be published in the new year, will be looking at areas for potential action including diet and sugar consumption which are risk factors in poor oral health and tooth decay.

The Department is working with NHS England to test a possible new dental contract which will increase access and improve oral health. Building on earlier pilots we are about to move to a new stage of testing by establishing prototypes. The new dental prototypes will continue to test a clinical care pathway focussed on preventing future dental disease. This approach includes offering patients personalised care plans and advice to both patients and parents on diet and good oral hygiene.

In 2014 Public Health England (PHE) published an evidence informed toolkit for local authorities to support their work on oral health improvement among children and young people. PHE also published an evidence based toolkit for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. These toolkits include oral health improvement programmes and advice focussing on a healthier diet and reducing the consumption of free sugars.

In addition these toolkits include other methods to improve oral health, for example tooth brushing programmes and fluoride varnish application.

The PHE report Local authorities improving oral health: commissioning better oral health for children and young people: An evidence-informed toolkit for local authorities is attached and can be found at:


The PHE report Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention is attached and can be found at: