CHILDREN in Cumnock and Doon Valley have better oral health than they did a decade ago.

Almost ¾ of five year olds have no obvious signs of tooth decay, compared with less than half in 2005.

The figures, obtained by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, were even better for 11 year olds with 78 per cent showing no sign of decay in 2015.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Childsmile programme which works to reduce inequalities in oral health and ensure every child has access to dental services.

Emma Hall-Scullin, consultant in dental public health, said: “We are delighted with this progress. Good oral health in childhood means healthy teeth and gums throughout life. Childsmile is working to ensure all children have the best possible start.

“Even with these great improvements in children’s oral health, challenges remain. There are persistent oral health inequalities, with children from more deprived areas suffering tooth decay more often than children from less deprived areas – Childsmile continues to address these inequalities.”

Childsmile is a Scotland-wide initiative which provides integrated dental care for children during their early years with more than 19,000 children in Ayrshire and Arran participate in the daily toothbrushing programme.

For more information about the Childsmile programme, you can visit the website at or contact the local Childsmile co-ordinator on 01292 513 998.