How do we find out about the dental health of children?
The facts here are based on data collected through the Child Dental Health Survey (CDHS), which has been carried out every 10 years since 1973.
The CDHS in 2013 involved around 10,000 children aged 5, 8, 12 and 15 years-old across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. All children had a dental examination, and their parents were asked to fill out a parent questionnaire. The 12 and 15 year-olds were also asked to complete a pupil questionnaire.
1. Most children brushed their teeth at least twice a day 1
2. Children eligible for free school meals were less likely to be in ‘good overall oral health’ than those not eligible 2
3. 82% of 12 and 15 year olds attended the dentist for a regular check-up 3
4. Tooth decay has declined for 12 and 15 year olds since 1983 4
5. 31% of 12 and 15 year olds said they were embarrassed to smile or laugh because of their teeth and 21% said they had difficulty eating 5
6. While girls were more likely to report good or very good oral health, they were also more likely to report dissatisfaction with the appearance of their teeth 6
7. Toothbrushing, dental check-ups and what we drink all affect our dental health 7
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