Between 2003 and 2013, tooth decay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has seen a massive decline, notably in the teeth of 12- and 15-year-olds. Despite this reduction, tooth decay remains prevalent in children. In 2013, 46% of 15-year-olds and 34% of 12-year-olds showed signs of having had rotting teeth. Comparing these numbers to statistics from 2003, wherein the percentages were higher – 56% and 43%, respectively – it is evident now that the war against tooth decay is a winnable battle.
Tooth Decay as a Precursor to Poor Dental Hygiene
The numbers are crucial, as children who have had tooth decay represent poor dental hygiene habits. If the parents or family dentist fails to address and guide these children accordingly, they are more than likely to grow up and transition into adulthood carrying the same dental habits. This can lead to a slew of dental problems such as oral cancer, periodontitis or gum disease, and many others.
Apart from diseases, having unattractive teeth may also influence a person’s social skills as it could affect his self-esteem and basic function. Metal brackets in Northern Ireland or orthodontic treatments are available to remedy the situation.
These children have to exercise good dental hygiene and be aware of the repercussions of simply not brushing their teeth. It is important to address tooth decay as soon as possible, and the habit of brushing one’s teeth at least twice a day begins in childhood.
The British Dental Association on Tooth Decay
The NHS recently released figures showing the number of teeth removed from children ages nine and under from 2014 to 2015. In dental practices across England, the NHS reveals that there are more than 179,000 teeth extracted due to tooth decay.
The British Dental Association estimates that the total cost of the aforementioned removals amounts to 14 million GBP. The organisation states that it would have been better if the costs had instead funded a nationwide scheme on prevention. Awareness would require fewer extractions and advocate dental hygiene.