Island pupils have bright smiles

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Children in the Western Isles are enjoying much better dental health than they were in the recent past, with new figures showing that 82.8% of primary seven pupils have no obvious decay.

This compares to 54.5% of primary seven (P7) children in the Western Isles having no obvious decay in 2007.

Children from all the health board areas in Scotland have their teeth looked at every year for the National Dental Inspection Programme (NDIP).

In alternate years primary seven and primary one children are offered a dental inspection.

This year the Scottish average for children with no obvious decay was 75.3% and this year’s result for the Western Isles has been warmly welcomed. As well as 82.8% having no obvious decay, the average number of obviously decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth was 0.38 against the Scottish average of 0.53.

The National Dental Inspection Programme began in 2003.

In 2007, 54.5% of P7 children in the Western Isles were found to have no obvious decay, with the Scottish average of 59.1%.

In 2009, this increased to 55.5%, with the Scottish average of 63.6%. In 2011, there was another increase to 74.5%, overtaking the Scottish average of 69.4%. In 2013, there were 79% with no obvious decay, ahead of the 72.8% average across Scotland.

This year, the Western Isles are second in Scotland, just slightly behind Borders, who have 83.6% with no obvious decay.