Children’s dental health in 2015: the facts

Over the past few months the state of children’s dental health has come under intense scrutiny from dental organisations and governing bodies. From concerns over popular food and drinks, aimed at children, to children’s dental hygiene habits, the statistics and fact raise some serious issues. As part as our initiative to share top healthcare advice, we wanted to raise awareness of just some of the stats and figures about dental care in children in today’s blog. Read on to find out more…

Tooth decay in young children

Nearly half of eight year old in the UK show signs of tooth decay, while more than one in 10 three-year-olds have also be found to have tooth decay. Even more worryingly, one in seven children are classed as having severe or extensive tooth decay.

Researchers from a 2014 study, carried out by Public Health England, say that sugary drinks are commonly to blame. For those under three, it’s consuming sugary drinks in baby bottles or sipping cups that cause problems. As children get older it’s the ongoing consumption of sugary foods and drinks, often targeted at children, paired with a poor dental routine that leads to decay.

Reducing these figures is easy. Sugary foods and drinks should be kept to a minimum, and if children are being treated with fizzy pop or chocolate, it’s best consumed with a meal – not on its own or as a snack. Likewise, a good dental routine is also key. Children should brush their teeth twice a day and visit their dentist twice a year. At present, it’s reported that only three quarters of children brush their teeth twice a day – something that needs to be rectified through proper messaging. The British Dental Health Foundation offers lots of advice on proper dental care in children. Why not visit the website  – where you’ll find all popular topics and questions on children’s oral health covered.

Visits to the dentist

While some of the tooth decay facts and figures are a worry, the majority of children in the UK are now attending the dentist regularly, preventing these figures from increasing further. Four in five children are said to visit their dentist regularly and while it’s not the 100% we’d like, it’s a good start. With NHS dental treatment being free for youngsters there’s really no reason not to go to the dentist.

If it’s a phobia stopping your child from attending a dental appointment, nip it in the bud before it becomes a real problem. It’s likely that a parent has passed down their fear to their child, with one in seven adults suffering from dental anxiety. If this is the case with your family, address your phobias and talk to your dentist about your concerns so that you can be a good role model for your young children.

Make a positive change by scheduling the next AP Smilecare appointment for your child – if it isn’t in the diary already. You can contact the team on 01254 297 000 and book your child’s free dental appointment today.

What advice do you give your children to help them look after their teeth? Tell us in the comments below or tweet your top advice to @APSmilecare