The official launch of ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’ is taking place in the foyer of Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil  on Monday, April 10th at 10am.

Bring your child along to meet our mascot and talk to the team about dental care for your child.

Cwm Taf University Health Board is making it a priority to:

  • increase the number of children who visit a dentist for routine dental check ups
  • reduce the levels of dental decay in our children
  • reduce the number of children being admitted to hospital to have their teeth extracted under general anaesthetic.

Dental surveys are carried out to assess the oral health of children when they are 3, 5 and 12 years of age.  The latest survey shows that the oral health of 5 year-old children in Wales has significantly improved and dental decay has reduced by 12% since 2008.

However when we look at the data for Cwm Taf children, even though there has been a very slight improvement, 5 year-old children in Cwm Taf have the highest dental decay rates in Wales with –

  • 58.6% of children living in Merthyr Tydfil and
  • 43% of children living in Rhondda Cynon Taf having dental decay.

Another concerning statistic is that 60% of Cwm Taf children under 5 years of age haven’t visited a dentist and almost 80% of children under 2 years of age haven’t visited a dentist yet.

Tooth decay remains the most common reason for young children to go into hospital. In Wales almost 8,000 children had to be admitted to hospital to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic (over 1,200 Cwm Taf children)

So we are making it a priority to improve the oral health of our children and one of the initiatives we are launching is ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’.

Many people think that baby teeth don’t matter because the teeth are going to fall out anyway and be replaced with a 2nd set but they do matter. Baby teeth are very important to a child’s health and development. When baby teeth are lost too early then the guide for the permanent teeth is lost and the space available for the 2nd teeth can be reduced. This can make permanent teeth crooked or crowded. Having poor oral health can affect children’s ability to eat, sleep, speak, can lead to pain and infection and being admitted to hospital for general anaesthetic.

So the campaign we are launching ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’ is to raise awareness throughout Cwm Taf of the importance of adopting healthy dental habits early to prevent tooth decay. We want to inform parents and involve the community in improving their own health and well-being.

Tooth decay can be prevented and the key messages are

  • Children should start brushing their teeth as soon as they get their first tooth
  • Brush teeth last thing at night before going to bed and one other time during the day
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • The whole family should have regular dental check ups
  • Reduce the amount of sugary foods and drinks

The team will also be in Keir Hardie University Health Park, Merthyr Tydfil on Monday and will be visiting other hospital sites over the coming weeks.

Pilot Project

As part of ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’ 5 dental practices in Merthyr Tydfil are participating in a pilot project. This pilot aims to identify children under 5 years of age who have not attended a dentist in the past 2 years in order to deliver oral health messages and encourage regular attendance at their practice.

The dentists participating in the pilot will actively identify children under 5 years of age by leaving their practices and attending baby clinics and parent & toddler groups in Merthyr Tydfil. They will be providing oral health advice to parents and will encourage them to attend their practice for their routine check up.

This pilot is based on a scheme which has proved to be successful in Greater Manchester and aims to increase the number of children routinely attending dental practices for their check up. Dental decay can be prevented so it is important to start healthy dental habits as soon as the first tooth appears.

The five dental practices participating in the pilot are –

Cefn Coed Dental Practice, 148 High St, Cefn Coed        01685 723377

Cenniniago Ltd, 4 Bridge St, Troedyrhiw                           01443 692080

Church Street Dental Practice, 3 Church St                       01685 723869

Courtland Dental Practice, 23 Courtland Tce                    01685 383388

Cyfarthfa Dental Practice, Gwaelodygarth Lane                01685 379501

All five dental practices are accepting new NHS patients (both children and adults). The whole family should regularly attend a dental practice for their routine check ups.

Dental Practices accepting new NHS Patients

For a list of all the dental practices in Cwm Taf currently accepting new NHS patients please follow the link –

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Baby Teeth DO Matter – Children’s Dental Health Campaign
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