Channel 4 documentary sparks pledge to bring dental project to Leeds children

Specialist paediatric dentist David Auld inspects a child's teeth at Clarendon Dental Spa in Leeds. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
Specialist paediatric dentist David Auld inspects a child's teeth at Clarendon Dental Spa in Leeds. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.
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A revealing Channel 4 documentary has led a national charity to commit to bringing dental hygiene skills to Leeds nursery and school pupils.

The ‘Junk Food Kids – Who’s to Blame?’ programme aired concerns of dental professionals from Leeds Dental Institute about the high levels of dental decay suffered by youngsters in Yorkshire last week.

Since the broadcast the Action for Sick Children charity has announced that its acclaimed Dental Playbox Project, which has had success in the North West, will come to Leeds and other areas thanks to a £30,000 donation from the Simplyhealth group.

Plans are at an early stage but Val Jackson, chief executive of the charity, hopes the project will help reduce NHS spending regionally on painful and expensive tooth extractions on children in the area.

She said: “I am grateful that Junk Food Kids has raised this issue. It underlines our belief that educating our youngsters in the basics of dental hygiene will prevent unnecessary suffering as well as saving the country countless millions of pounds which could be spent elsewhere.”

Last year the YEP revealed that nearly one in five children in Leeds suffer from tooth decay by the age of three – seven per cent higher than the national average.

For many children with dental issues, Clarendon Dental Spa, Leeds Community Dental Service and Leeds Dental Institute are the last resort. Dentists at the facilities remove tens of thousands of teeth every year.

For information visit www.actionforsickchildren.org.uk.

Joanne Mjadzelics

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