Fewer Welsh Children Experiencing Dental Decay, Report Reveals

13th February 2013

Dentists in Manchester city centre are sure to be pleased to hear that oral health in parts of the UK appear to be improving, with a new report revealing that fewer children in Wales now have dental decay.

According to the Welsh government’s Designed to Smile survey, there has been a six per cent drop in the number of five-year-olds suffering from such oral health problems, although it is considered too soon to be able to gauge the full impact of the national programme.

The scheme has seen nearly 93,000 youngsters take part in supervised tooth-brushing activities at home, while over 91,000 children in Wales benefited from education sessions that focused on healthy food choices and nutrition.

Since it was launched in 2009, £12 million has been invested in Designed to Smile, with the initiative including supervised brushing in schools and nurseries, as well as clinical interventions like the application of fissure sealants and fluoride varnish – known to help prevent decay.

Commenting on the results, David Thomas, chief dental officer, remarked: “Across all social groups, dental disease levels in children are decreasing. This contrasts with previous dental surveys, when reductions in levels of tooth decay were usually associated with widening inequality.”

Tooth decay – caused by a build-up of plaque through eating carbohydrate-laden food and drink – can happen to anyone at any time, so focusing on good oral health on a daily basis is advisable. Talk to a qualified dentist if you’re unsure how best to go about ensuring that your mouth and teeth stay healthy.