Improvements in child dental health

Reduction in fillings and teeth extraction.

There has been a significant long-term decrease in the number of childhood fillings and tooth extractions.

Since 2000-01, the number of fillings given to children has reduced by 62% from 774,762 to 298,192 in 2018-19.

Over the same period, the number of tooth extractions has fallen from 133,000 to 86,000 – a decrease of 35%.

Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick said:

“These figures show a significant reduction in both the number of fillings given to children as well as the number of teeth extracted.

“This reflects the substantial impact the Scottish Government’s Childsmile Programme has made in improving the oral health of children.

“Our Oral Health Improvement Plan, with its strong focus on prevention and reducing oral health inequalities, will help to ensure further reductions in the need for restorative treatment.”


View the report on the NHS Treatment and Fees dental statistics released today.

Childsmile is delivered by a range of health professionals. There are a number of partners in education, voluntary and community sectors who work collaboratively with Childsmile to promote and improve children’s oral health.

Children should brush their teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. ‘Spitting, not rinsing’ after brushing gives the toothpaste time to protect teeth.


Media enquiries

Back to top