The number of tooth decay incidences among five-year-olds continues on a downward trend for the eight consecutive year. Results from a Public Health England (PHE) 2016 survey revealed an estimated 166,467 five-year-olds who suffer from tooth decay, a decline from 2008’s 177,423. But, there is still a long way to go before the frequency lowers to a level that will not rouse concern among parents and dentists.
Less to be Worried About
‘This is great news’, comments PHE Director of Dental Public Health Dr. Sandra White regarding the survey results. ‘However, one child with tooth decay is one too many and there is still much inequality in dental health around the country. Tooth decay is painful and too often results in teeth extraction, some under general anaesthetic’, she adds.
Dentists from DentalCarePartnership.co.uk cite how the survey found the highest rates of tooth decay among children living in the North West of England and the lowest in the South East. They say that the country needs to rid itself of this regional variation if it wants to eradicate tooth decay among children for good. Dr. White believes that with discipline and education, such a feat is possible.
More to be Done
She refers to the survey’s positive results as ‘further evidence that we can stop tooth decay in its tracks’. Dr. White mentions limiting sugary food and drink, teaching children to brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and taking regular trips to the dentist as effective measures in cutting down tooth decay incidences even further.
This effort can curb tooth decay’s detrimental effects on children’s education. ‘Our faces are quite a mirror to us, and we you smile with a nice smile it makes a big difference when we start school’, she says.
The dental health of five-year-olds is improving. Developing the habit and concern for oral care among the country’s youngest may be the best way to raise an adult population that is equally, if not more, keen about dental health than there ever was in British history.