Rates of tooth decay among 3-year-olds above average in the North West
Rates of tooth decay among three-year-olds are above the national average in the North West, according to new figures from Public Health England.
Statistics show that 10.7% of 3-year-olds in England have displayed signs of tooth decay in the last two years. The figure for the North West is significantly higher at 13.7%. In cases where children had decay, the average child had at least three rotten teeth.
Data was collected from approximately 20,000 children from across the country. While the national average was 10.7% of children, there were alarming regional variations. In Yorkshire and the Humber, where rates of decay among three-year-olds are the highest in England, children were more than twice as likely to have symptoms of decay than their counterparts in the East of England.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, 14.7% of 3-year-olds had tooth decay compared to 6.7% of children in the same age group in the East of England.
Tooth decay remains the most common cause of hospital admissions among children in the UK, despite the fact that the vast majority of cases are preventable. Many cases are linked to poor oral hygiene, a diet rich in sugar and a lack of dental visits. Children are encouraged to attend dental appointments every 6 months from the age of 12 months. Dental care is provided free of charge on the NHS.
The British Dental Association has responded to the figures, suggesting that more needs to be done urgently to close gaps in dental health and encourage and support parents and carers to take steps to lower the risks of children developing decay.Join this Discussion