§ David Davis
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to promote dental health among children. 
§ Ms Rosie Winterton
In England, primary care trusts are responsible for oral health promotion and currently they attach particular importance to ensuring that oral health is covered in initiatives like Sure Start, health action zones and healthy living centres.
In August 2001, to complement this work, we launched our "Brushing for Life" scheme which targets families with young children in the 31 areas where dental decay is highest. There are currently 32 schemes running nationally. When carrying out developmental checks, health visitors demonstrate good tooth brushing practice and give the families a free pack containing a tube of fluoridated toothpaste, a toothbrush and a leaflet on oral hygiene. In 2003, the "Brushing for Life" scheme has been extended to Sure Start schemes in order to ensure more parents are given the opportunity to improve the oral health of their children, particularly in more deprived areas of the country.