Councillors have called for action to tackle high rates of tooth decay in children.

A recent survey found that Norfolk's five-year-olds have the highest prevalence of dental decay in the east of England with the King's Lynn and west Norfolk area among the worst affected in the country.

Members of West Norfolk Council are calling for the authority to lobby the government to reform how NHS dentist contracts are managed.

READ MORE: Quarter of region's children suffering from tooth decay, stark figures show

Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Jo Rust, cabinet member for people and communitiesCouncillor Jo Rust, cabinet member for people and communities (Image: Newsquest)

It is also hoped it can pressure ministers to secure funding to improve the state of dental care in the region through the creation of a dental training school.

Councillor Jo Rust, cabinet member for people and communities, will propose the motion at a full council meeting on Thursday, October 19.

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“This council notes the dire situation with NHS dentistry in King’s Lynn and west Norfolk," said Ms Rust.

"The number of dentists has declined at a greater rate in west Norfolk when compared to the whole of the east and England.  

Eastern Daily Press: Councillors have called for more intervention at schoolsCouncillors have called for more intervention at schools (Image: PA)

"Yet our area has greater levels of need, more areas of deprivation and a higher number of older residents. 

"While the provision of dental services sits with the Integrated Care Board and isn’t one that our Borough Council can control, we can seek to influence and shape the delivery of improved services and improved access to NHS dentists for our local community."

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The survey by health bosses in the region found that nearly one in every four five-year-olds had some form of decay in their teeth.

Eastern Daily Press: Councillor Alexandra KempCouncillor Alexandra Kemp (Image: Newsquest)

Councillor Alexandra Kemp has also been campaigning for better dental care in west Norfolk and has called for more intervention in schools.

She said: "Tooth decay is really serious and causes misery.

"Lots of families have told me they can't get their children registered with an NHS dentist.

"Some can't afford toothpaste and toothbrushes. We need to get basic prevention right and teaching dental care in schools is one way to improve dental outcomes for children in west Norfolk."

 NHS Norfolk and Waveney has said access to NHS dental services is one of its "immediate concerns" and that the body will continue to work closely with dental providers to find ways to stabilise and improve access to services.

A spokeswoman added: "The ICB is committed to ensuring that all patients within Norfolk and Waveney can have access to high quality dental services, but recognise that sustainable, long-term change will take time to achieve.”