Dental decay is one of the most common preventable health problems in children living in socially deprived areas of the UK. Children living in low-socioeconomic neighbourhoods tend to start brushing their teeth at a later age and use fluoride containing toothpaste less often and, therefore, experience higher levels of dental decay overall. As a result, rates of tooth decay in five-year-olds have not improved in the last 10 years.
A study conducted by scientists from the Oral Health Research Centre, London, and published in Caries Research (1), reported that daily teacher supervised toothbrushing, during school term time only, reduced the occurrence of tooth decay by 11% in 5-year-old children living in a socially deprived region of London, over a period of 21 months.
A total of 370 first year primary school children (aged 5 years) in a London borough completed the study. Half of the children brushed their teeth once a day at school (after lunch but before afternoon lessons) with commercially available fluoride toothpaste under the supervision of their teacher. No supplementary dietary or dental health advice was given to the children or their parents.
Hannah Theobald | alfa
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