Tooth decay among 5 year olds continues significant decline

The number of 5 year olds with tooth decay has dropped to its lowest level in almost a decade, according to a PHE oral health survey.

The oral health survey published  10 May 2016 by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that less than 25% of the cohort suffers from tooth decay, a 20% drop since 2008.

AS0000094FA09 Child, cleaning teeth

image source: Anthea Sieveking wellcome images//CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

This continues the downward trend seen since 2008, in the first oral health survey of 5 year olds asking parents to opt-in. In 2008, 31% of 5 year olds suffered tooth decay; in 2012 it was 27%. The pattern of dental health improvement among the age group shows the impact parents and carers can have in establishing good dental care habits from an early age.

While there has been a significant decline in tooth decay at a national level, there is still a great deal of regional variation. In the North West, a third (33.4%) of 5 year olds suffer from tooth decay, whereas only a fifth (20.1%) do in the in the South East. As with the 2 previous surveys, areas with higher levels of deprivation tend to have higher levels of tooth decay.

Full survey: Oral health survey of 5-year-old children: 2014 to 2015

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