Good News For Kids – Hooray!
Good news for our nation’s children. Statistics from the Child Dental Health Survey 2013 of England, Wales and Northern Ireland discloses significant drops in the level of dental cavity in 12 and 15 years of age compared with 2003. 1 in 3 12-year olds and less than half (46 per cent) of 15-year olds now reveal indications of obvious dental decay, a decrease from 43% and 56% as compared to ten years earlier.
The intensity of decay also fell, as the variety of youngsters with severe tooth decay falling from one in 3 to one in 5 of 15 years of age and from 3 in 10 to one in five of 12 years of age.
However, there is still much room for improvement. Health complications were greatest in Wales and Northern Ireland, with 2 in five youngsters (41 and 40 percent respectively) struggling with the condition compared with 3 in ten (31 per cent) in England.
A worrying number of youngsters are beginning school with tooth deterioration and carrying it through their education. 3 in 10 five-year olds have noticeable signs of decay yet by the time they reached 15 that soars to near one in two. This still highlights considerable space for enhancement.
They highlight a clear need for water fluoridation to help deal with these differences, particularly in the more deprived locations of the nation. Levels of dental decay have likewise fallen in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas in the UK, yet just 12 per cent of the population have fluoridated water.
Three Tips for improvement
David Westgarth spoke to Trustee Ben Atkins who had some excellent ideas on how educators and parents alike can improve the oral health of British Children. Here are some of the highlights:
- It is not the amount of sugary drinks or sweets that kids eat that is the problem but rather how often. It is the sugar that creates the bacteria in plaque which attacks tooth enamel. If young people are constantly eating surgery foods, it gives their enamel no time to recover.
- From the age of two and a half, toddlers should be having regular check-ups with their dentist. Building up this relationship early on will encourage healthy oral hygiene habits and create a positive relationship with their dentist. This is free under the NHS so even poorer families would benefit from this experience.
- It is important for parents to encourage their children to brush their teeth morning and night. Where possible they need to be encouraged to spit out excess toothpaste but not rinse it out with water. Keeping fluoride in their mouths helps in the fight against plaque. The fluoride from toothpaste has helped reduce decaying teeth by at least 50%.
The British have a reputation for terrible oral hygiene so it is good to see a younger generation turning the tide on that stereotype. Let’s hope that as parents and professionals encourage them to look after their teeth they will build up healthy brushing habits that they can pass onto their children.
You can read Ben Atkins full response here:
You can read the full report here:
A report on sweets and why they are bad for you can be read here.