The British Dental Association (BDA) was pleased to hear MPs calling for action on children’s oral health at a debate in the House of Commons on 31 October, secured by Steve McCabe MP, following a meeting with the BDA.

They have been working in partnership with the Faculty of Dental Surgery to engage MPs across Parliament ahead of this debate, providing briefings on the need for action to address the shocking oral health inequalities across the UK, and improve outcomes and access for patients, by reforming the dental contract. 

Following their call for BDA members to contact their MPs to encourage them to attend the debate, 100s of members contacted their MP.

The debate was very well attended, and 14 MPs from across four political parties, speaking passionately on the need for improvements in oral health.

The BDA will continue to engage with interested MPs to discuss how we can work together to lobby Government further on this issue.

Children’s oral health highlighted at Health Select Committee

Dr Caroline Johnson, member of the Health Select Committee who spoke in the House of Commons debate, later that day also used one of the Committee’s regular oral evidence sessions with the Secretary of State, to grill Jeremy Hunt on his record on children’s oral health. 

She quoted the experience of her constituent, who is a BDA member and who had contacted her ahead of the debate, to describe the perverse way the dental contract works. 

Mr Hunt said he was keen for the contract to “incentivise dentists to think about prevention and not cure”, instead of simply paying for activity. 

Asked about Starting Well being limited to just 13 areas, Mr Hunt replied that he was keen to see if it worked before deciding whether to roll it out further, and admitted he underestimated how hard it would be to get his three children to “bloody brush their teeth properly”.

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