Glasgow's children are smiling better than ever with a huge reduction in the number of teeth pulled out.

New figures show that extractions of kids’ teeth have been cut in half since the Millennium.

A number of initiatives in schools and nurseries have helped improve dental health leading to less decay.

However the city still has a high level of decay and the number of pupils starting school with signs of rot is still a concern.

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But according to the statistics there has been an undoubted improvement.

The figures released by Health Secretary in response to a parliamentary question show year on year improvement.

In 2000/01 when records were first kept the number of teeth pulled out of children’s mouths in the Greater Glasgow health board area was 26,355.

By 2015/16, the latest full year’s figures, the total had dropped to 12,516 a reduction of more than 50%.

While the figures include extractions for orthodontic reasons and trauma the decrease in Glasgow is remarkably higher that other parts of Scotland.

In comparison Lothian, including Edinburgh recorded a reduction of 22%, Fife 21% and Tayside, which includes Dundee 24%.

Glasgow City Council working with the health board has implemented a number of initiatives ranging from tooth brushing education to healthy eating all of which can reduce tooth decay.

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Efforts to improve dental hygiene among children include teeth brushing sessions in nursery schools seem to have been making a difference.

The Childsmile programme provides fluoride varnishing and dental health education in schools and nurseries.

The programme was set up in 2001 and it is estimated to have saved more than £6m in dental costs. And a study by Glasgow University found the cost of treating dental disease fell by over a half in ten years.

Politicians in Glasgow welcomed the latest figures but said they were well aware there was much progress still to be made to improve the city’s children’s teeth.

A study published last year found as many as 50% of children in deprived areas have tooth decay by the time they start primary school.

Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People & Lifelong Learning said: “Our schools work in partnership with our NHS colleagues to educate our youngsters about the importance of good dental hygiene, a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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“I am delighted to hear that this is reaping rewards and tooth decay is on the decline – however we all still must continue to make this even better.”

Anas Sarwar, Labour health spokesman and a former NHS dentist said: “This is a welcome reduction in the number of extractions which is partly to do with prevention programmes across Glasgow.

“However, we cannot be complacent as there is still a high level of tooth decay among children.”