New study shows that brushing is not enough to keep childhood decay at bay

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A new study suggests that brushing alone is not sufficient to prevent decay and eliminate the dangers of eating sugary foods.

The study, which involved nearly 4,000 preschool children, revealed that brushing is not enough to nullify the dangers associated with eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks. Researchers from universities based in Glasgow and Edinburgh identified a strong correlation between snacking and dental decay, with children who grazed throughout the day much more likely to develop decay than children who ate main meals over the course of the day.

Analysis of brushing and eating habits led the research teams to conclude that brushing is not enough to prevent decay in children under the age of 5. The findings of the study highlight the importance of healthy eating and the impact a sugary diet can have on dental health. The study also found that socioeconomic factors, including the level of education of parents, played a role in determining standards of oral health in children.

The research teams found that children who snacked on a regular basis were up to twice as likely to develop cavities than those who stuck to main meals. There was also a noticeable link between brushing at the age of 2 and elevated decay risk at the age of 5. Two-year-olds who brushed either once a day or not at all were twice as likely to suffer from decay at the age of 5 than those who brushed twice a day.

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