Survey Shows Tooth Decay Hits a Quarter of Five-Year-Olds

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23rd September 2013 12:04 - Health

Public Health England recently released findings from their latest survey which looked at 133,000 dental examinations across the United Kingdom, covering two fifths (21.2%) of five-year-olds. Data suggests that a quarter (27%) of all five-year-olds had tooth decay, down from three tenths (30%) in 2008.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said there remained a"deep chasm" between the best and worst areas.

Figures ranged from a quarter (21.2%) of five-year-olds in the south-east to a third (34.8%) in the north-west. When researchers looked at more localised data, Brighton and Hove were found to have the lowest percentage affected by tooth decay, at a tenth (12.5%), compared half (53.2%) of all five-year-olds in Leicester.

However, there have been improvements – three quarters (72%) of five-year-olds have no tooth decay, up from seven tenths (69%) in 2008.

Prof Kevin Fenton, director of health and well-being at Public Health England said:

“This latest survey shows the numbers of five-year-olds free from tooth decay have improved but there is still much to do, dental decay is preventable.”

While Dr Christopher Allen, chairman of the BDA's public health committee, appeared to agree, saying:

“This report highlights a welcome improvement to the overall oral health of five-year-old children across England, but it also reminds us of the deep chasm that exists between those with the best and worst oral health.”

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