U.K. counties to launch in-school toothbrushing initiative

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Health directors in the U.K.'s Essex and Suffolk counties plan to bestow grants that will be used for a supervised toothbrushing in schools initiative, according to a BBC News report. The investment package will give 967,000 pounds ($1.2 million) to the Suffolk County Council.

The decision was reached during a January 24 meeting of the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, which comprises local health experts. The investment will be used for the following dental health support organizations and measures:

  • Keep Suffolk Smiling, which serves vulnerable and isolated communities
  • Expansion of supervised toothbrushing initiatives
  • Dental varnishing programs and the hiring of two community nurses

In a report published last year, the BBC quoted Peter Aldous, the conservative member of Parliament for Waveney, that Suffolk is becoming a "dental desert ... with no access to NHS [National Health Service] dentistry for residents."

As for Essex, the grant will give the Essex County Council 321,000 pounds ($396,000) for toothbrushing initiatives and oral health training.

The funding will come out of the National Health System England budget and will be distributed March 31, the BBC said.

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