Oral hygeine in Slough has been brought into sharp focus, after it was revealed the town currently has the highest tooth decay rate in the South East.

The town is also one of 13 towns that has been identified nationally under the Starting Well:A Smile4Life Initative, where tooth decay in under fives is at a particularly high level.

The council addressed the issue of children’s oral health at a cabinet meeting on Monday, October 15 where evidence from the most recent data showed that 41.5 per cent of children in the town has one or more decayed, missing or filled teeth, compared to 23.3 per cent in England and 16.4 per cent in the South East.

The council admits that the high rates of poor oral hygeine in children are “higher than would be expected even for the level of deprivation in Slough” and has suggested that other factors are to blame, including “culture, language and home oral health practices”.

In a bid to combat the issue, certain dentist practices in Slough will be holding an open day on October 24, during half term, to encourage parents with young children to introduce them to the dentist.

As well as the open days, council workers have been visiting children’s centres across the borough in a bid to raise awareness about tooth decay and sugar.

The council’s public health team and dentists have also been working with schools to try and help with oral health education and facilitate supervised brushing.

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “It is so important that children understand the importance of teeth brushing and good oral hygiene from an early age, and that parents understand how much sugar is in the food their children are eating.

“We want to drastically reduce the amount of children with tooth decay, and those who have to have their teeth out because of poor diet choices and little or no brushing.”