Oral health has an important role in the general health and wellbeing of individuals. Poor oral health can affect the ability of children and young people to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children. Other impacts include pain, infections, poor diet, and impaired nutrition and growth. When children are not healthy this affects their ability to learn, thrive and develop.
Oldham has developed an oral health strategy and needs assessment for pre-school children. It can be accessed here.
Historically, Oldham has had a disproportionately high number of five year olds with teeth that are decayed, missing or with fillings. However, rates of dental decay are now declining; levels fell from 51% in 2014/15 to 35% in 2016/7. This takes Oldham from the worst in Greater Manchester in 2014/15, to the 4th best in 2016/17.
The highest rates of dental decay in 5 year olds were seen in Hollinwood (83%) and St James’ (73%). Only Saddleworth North (18%) and Saddleworth South (19%) had rates of dental decay lower than England’s average. Generally, as deprivation increases, rates of tooth decay also increase – within both Oldham and England.