Schoolkids’ top dental health

An NHS "child smile" van in Lerwick. Photo: NHS Shetland.

SHETLAND’s school children have among the healthiest teeth in Scotland, the latest dental inspection report has confirmed.

Of 230 P7 pupils inspected 89.3 per cent had no obvious caries in their permanent teeth. Only Orkney, at 90.4 per cent, had a higher figure and the national average is 77.1 per cent.

The figures were welcomed by Highlands and Islands list MSP Jamie Halcro-Johnston.


The local figure represents an improvement of 9.5 per cent on the previous set of figures from two years ago.

NHS Shetland said the report also showed that the local health board had carried out the highest percentage of fissure sealants within the child population at 64 per cent compared to a national average of 26 per cent.

Dental director Brian Chittick said NHS Shetland’s oral health promotion agenda was delivering results.

“I am delighted with this report which reflects the hard work put in by everybody involved in providing dental services in Shetland,” he said.


“It was great to see we have an improved position on the absence of dental decay for our P7 children from two years ago, that we were second best at a national level and also that our figures are well above the Scottish average.”

Halcro Johnston added: “The local dentists and the island health boards are to be congratulated for these continued positive results, showing that dental health among young people in our islands is the best in Scotland – and well exceeding national targets.

“Parents and schools also have a key role to play in encouraging good dental health and ensuring healthy diets.”