There is no doubt that Scotland's oral health improvement has come a long way.
There is no doubt that Scotland's oral health improvement has come a long way. In order to continue this long and complex journey it is essential to learn from and use the evidence gathered, capitalise on the connections we have made to prioritise disease prevention, deliver effective dental care to meet the changing needs of the population today and plan for the needs of tomorrow.
At first glance the problem of oral disease may seem straightforward and relatively simple to solve, as the causes are largely preventable and the trends show an overall improvement in oral health; but inequalities persist. The dental workforce has a role to play in changing people's behaviours and lifestyles, but underlying this is the need to address wider social factors, tackle root causes of disadvantage and thereby improve health and reduce inequalities.
It is evident that improving oral health across the population remains a challenge, and simple messages about how to improve oral health still need to be sent far and wide. Building strong dental public health policy and re-designing and implementing effective health services to nurture personal knowledge and self-management skills will enable more people to choose healthier options.
Email: Elizabeth McLear