Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed news that the number of people who are registered with an NHS dentist keeps rising, with the total in Forth Valley reaching 281,052.

The latest figures show that 92.5% of adults and 91.6% of children across the area were registered on September 30, 2017 – up from 90.6% and 90.9% the previous year.

The national figure, which has risen by about 140,000 to more than five million, has nearly doubled since the SNP came to power in 2007. By contrast, the Labour/Lib Dem administration oversaw a fall in registrations from just over 2.7million in 2000 to about 2.5million in 2007.

Mr Matheson said: “The latest dental registration statistics show the continued progress the SNP Government is making in improving oral health in Forth Valley and across Scotland after years of decline under Labour and the Lib Dems.

“With nearly a million children in Scotland now registered with an NHS dentist, including 54,854 youngsters in Forth Valley, it’s also clear that we are building the right attitudes to improve the next generation’s dental health.

“The Scottish Government’s new Oral Health Improvement Plan will show how we intend to keep up this good work and will ensure that people are not only registering with a dentist but are also getting regular check-ups.

“Oral health is vital for people’s wider health and wellbeing, so it’s great to see that constituents are taking steps to ensure that they and their children have access to the services offered by an NHS dentist.”