Child tooth decay falling – but not fast enough

child with a drawn smile on a piece of paper

News that tooth decay among children is falling is certainly welcomed by those of us charged with looking after the nation’s teeth.

New figures show that the number of five-year-olds with tooth decay has fallen to its lowest level in almost 10 years.
Current estimates suggest 166,467 five-year-olds now have tooth decay, compared to 177,423 in 2008.

The positive stats come shortly after the government announced plans for a tax on sugary drinks, which will hopefully contribute to a further decline in tooth decay in the coming years.

There is, however, no room for complacency in our approach to dental health among young people.

Despite a significant reduction in young children being treated for tooth decay, it is still hugely concerning that almost a quarter of five-year-olds are visiting dentists with the condition.

As a Wirral-based dental clinic, it is also worrying for us that our own North West region has the highest levels of tooth decay among five-year-olds in the country, with the South East having the lowest.

Being five is a pivotal time in every child’s life, as they start school and make new friends. But teeth problems can cause social anxiety and damage confidence.

In later life too, poor dental health can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life – as we know only too well from the many people we help to overcome teeth problems at our clinic.

We echo the recommendations of Public Health England that children should brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, while intake of sugary foods and drinks should also be limited.

Following these good habits from an early age will set children in good stead for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. If you are worried about your children’s teeth talk to McGrath Dental today, click here.


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