According to the BBC, the oral health of the nation’s children is now at ‘crisis point’. The BBC claim that almost 26,000 children in the five to nine years age bracket had to receive hospital attention in the year 2013-2014 due to tooth decay. This is a 14% increase from 2011. Despite an overall improvement in children’s dental health, statistics relating to child tooth decay are still far too high, and much more needs to be done.
So what are the reasons for these worrying statistics? Many factors were highlighted in a report produced by the Royal College of surgeons (RCS) earlier in 2015. The report found that children were slow to be taken to the dentist: problems had often developed and were fully established by the time the dentist had taken a look. In addition, it was found that children were not sure how to correctly brush their teeth. Therefore decay was beginning due to sugars and acids being left on the teeth. We have recently also heard about high amounts of sugar in food and drinks, and often in refreshments marketed at children. However numerous factors may be at play and it is important to consider all of these when supporting our children to have healthier gums.
Here at Ock Street we are passionate about encouraging healthy oral hygiene routines in children from a young age. We foster a positive attitude towards dental health in all our younger patients. This starts from a very young age: we welcome children accompanying their parents on routine check-ups before they even have teeth themselves. This all helps to get the child used to being in the practice, and the smells and sounds they may experience. We encourage further visits before their first check-up if this helps them feel more at ease. Perhaps they’d like to try out the dentist’s chair before having their first examination?
When working with children, we are mindful at all times of their age and needs. We will use suitable language, and will positively reinforce good behaviour and good oral hygiene: we’re keen to work with you to ensure the development and maintenance of good habits.
As well as checking teeth, our team will offer helpful advice on several key aspects of oral health including food choices, how to brush teeth and how to avoid decay. We also have a range of advanced and restorative treatments on offer if needed. Ask for more information about fissure sealants, fillings and orthodontic work.
Ock Street are committed to working with you to support our children to develop good oral hygiene habits. We don’t want our patients to be joining the thousands of children admitted to hospital each year for tooth decay. Give us a call for more information on our child friendly services, or visit the BBC website for more information on the current statistics.