On March 19th 2015, data gathered from the 2013 Children’s Dental Health (CDH) Survey was published. This is the fifth in a series of children’s dental health surveys that have been carried out every ten years since 1973; nearly 10,000 children were surveyed.
The survey, commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, revealed that nearly half of eight-year-olds in the UK and a third of five-year-olds have signs of tooth decay in their milk teeth, while 46% of 15-year-olds have decay in their teeth.
Although these figures sound and are shocking, they actually show improvement when compared to 2003’s survey, with an overall reduction in cavities. Data would suggest that the percentage of 12-year-olds with tooth decay has fallen from 43% in 2003 to 34% in 2013. Likewise, 46% of 15-year-olds affected by tooth decay is a positive downward trend when compared to 56% in 2003.
The takeaway messages from the CDH Survey are clear. Family dentists need to work with parents to promote good oral health and to emphasise that tooth decay is a serious but preventable disease. We collectively need to be reducing the amount of sugary snacks and drinks we all eat, as well as helping our children develop good dietary habits that will help to safeguard the long-term health of their teeth.
Tooth decay and oral health problems tend to be worse among children from more deprived families. They can also lead to parents needing to have time off work for their child’s dental treatment and can deeply affect children’s self-confidence.
As a family dentist in Stourbridge, our aim at Lion Dental Centre is to offer your children a welcoming and reassuring environment in which to begin their lifelong desire for good oral health. We can help them feel confident about taking care of their smile and explain how regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is essential to preventing tooth decay. We can even show them how to brush their teeth to really protect their gums and keep their teeth healthy.