Back to school: Is your child’s oral health at risk?
Posted on 28th August 2019 at 13:15
This month, thousands of schoolchildren return to the classroom after the summer holidays. The return to a familiar routine may be welcome to many parents, but top dental surgeons are worried that schools aren’t doing enough to protect youngsters’ teeth.
How serious is the oral health problem in under 18s?
According to recent government figures:
• Four in 10 children haven’t visited the dentist in over a year.
• Almost 9 out of 10 hospital tooth extractions among children aged 0-5 are due to preventable tooth decay.
• At least 60,000 school days are missed throughout the year due to hospital extractions alone.
• Every day, 170 children and teens undergo tooth extractions under general anaesthetic in hospitals in England.
How are schools contributing to the problem?
Leading dental surgeons believe that schools in England should go sugar-free in a bid to combat tooth decay. The Faculty of Dental Surgery has produced a report containing 12 recommendations to cut down on cases of tooth decay, including the introduction of teeth-brushing schemes in all of England’s schools and completely cutting out sugar from school meals. Prof Michael Escudier, dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said: "It is incredibly worrying that levels of tooth decay among children in England remain so high - especially when you consider that it is almost entirely preventable through simple steps, such as brushing twice a day with appropriate-strength fluoride toothpaste, visiting the dentist regularly and reducing sugar consumption."
How can I protect my child’s teeth?
Getting your child into an effective oral hygiene routine as early as possible is the best way to prevent future oral health issues. This includes making regular check-up appointments with the dentist to familiarise them with the practice environment and get them into the habit of routine dental appointments. At Park Dental Care, we take pride in creating a relaxed, friendly environment for patients of all ages and make sure we explain every procedure thoroughly, so your child is comfortable in the dentist’s chair. We recommend making a first appointment for your child as soon as their first milk tooth appears and bringing them in every six months for a routine check-up. You can read more tips on keeping your child’s teeth in top condition here.
To book an appointment with one of our friendly and experienced dentists for you or your child, contact us today. We look forward to welcoming you to Park Dental Care.
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