New information regarding child oral health items are now available:
- The CMO have recently published Time to solve childhood obesity: an independent report by the Chief Medical Officer. Within the report Annex B covers sugar consumption and children’s dental health.
- Supervised tooth brushing programmes, additional line re-cross infection. The national team were recently asked for a Public Health England line to the following question:
‘The PHE supervised toothbrushing toolkit states that ‘as there is a theoretical risk of the transmission of micro-organisms and viruses, by sharing toothbrushes and not cleaning the holders’ what should we do if children use each others toothbrushes?’
By following advice in the toolkit the risk of children using each other’s brushes should be minimised, however if this happens, local procedures and cross infection risk assessment advice should be followed. You can access this advice through your local health protection team based in your local Public Health England centre. The risk of transmission of blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C and HIV from inadvertently sharing toothbrushes is extremely low with no reported cases. If the person is known to have a blood borne virus or is deemed high risk, or if in doubt, then the local PHE Centre Health Protection Team should be contacted to assist with a risk assessment.
If there is an outbreak of a respiratory illness , flu or gastrointestinal illness (e.g. Norovirus) it would be sensible to temporarily suspend the programme until this has resolved. Ensuring and promoting good hygiene and vaccination programmes is a key part in prevention of infection.