South Asian Children least likely to have visited a dentist


Competition launched to raise awareness

THE DEPARTMENT of Health has launched a new Bollywood-themed competition in a bid to educate children about the importance of dental care.

It comes after new research revealed children of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani descent are less likely to have visited a dentist than any other ethnic groupin the past 12 months.

Only 45% of boys and 46% of girls of Bangladeshi descent have visited a dentist in the past 12 months, the Department of Health said. The rate of Bangladeshi children having ever visited a dentist is around half the rate of the general population.

The Smiles Ahead competition encourages participants to create a 3-minute film which encourages children to brush their teeth twice a day, make regular visits to the dentist and reduce consumption of foods and drinks which are high in sugar.

Health Minister, Ann Keen said: “We are aware that South Asian children are less likely to have visited a dentist than any other ethnic group and we are keen to educate parents about their right to free NHS dental services for all children under 18 years.  “In line with this, the Department of Health is launching a competition to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and how this message can be communicated in the family setting.”

The winning competition entry will appear on the Department of Health website and YouTube. 


The deadline for receipt of competition entries is Friday 17th April 2009. Entries should be sent as an email attachment to 


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