Oral health of children and youth
In the proposal for an Act on Freedom of Choice, counties are responsible for organising school health services and student healthcare at upper secondary level, including related oral healthcare.
In accordance with the Government proposal, adults’ oral health services will belong under the freedom of choice concept, which means that citizens can select their own care facility. In contrast, school health services and student healthcare at upper secondary level, including related oral healthcare, will be taken care of by the counties. In addition to regular checks, these services will include basic care and orthodontic treatments.
For students, this would mean that the counties will either provide these services themselves or outsource them and conclude agreements with oral health services units (dental clinics). Students can also get health and social services vouchers for a dentist specialised in orthodontic care.
In school health services, close cooperation between oral care providers and school staff is important. It is essential that this cooperation will continue also in future to ensure the promotion of children’s oral health. Counties will be responsible for the interoperability and effective operation of the services.
The dental clinics would take responsibility for the provision of services in a manner determined by the county and also look after preventive oral health services.
Counties must continue to invest in the development of maternity and child health clinic services from the point of view of oral health services. Provision of guidance for parents on how to keep up good daily oral healthcare practices at home and to pay attention to dietary factors is the best way to ensure children’s good oral health, and maternity and child health clinics play an important role in the matter.
Anne Nordblad, Ministerial Counsellor for Health/Medical Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 387