A recent study has revealed the alarming toll the cost-of-living crisis is having on children’s dental health. Parents are struggling to provide essential oral hygiene items. And teachers have been distributing toothpaste and toothbrushes in the fight against tooth decay.
In today’s blog we look at the current crisis facing children’s dental health and share some of our top tips for looking after your child’s teeth.
More children with poor oral hygiene
The recent study into children’s dental health was conducted by the British Dental Association (BDA) and Beauty Banks, a charity focused on hygiene poverty. It revealed 81% of secondary school teachers reported some of their students didn’t have access to basic items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste. This unfortunate reality has led to social exclusion for 41% of these children due to their poor dental hygiene.
A staggering 75% of teachers noted that the unavailability of toothpaste and toothbrushes has resulted in students exhibiting discoloured teeth and visible tooth decay. Additionally, nearly one-third had observed students experiencing dental pain or bad breath. Instances of bullying related to signs of inadequate oral hygiene have reached an all-time high.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health recently cautioned that toothbrushes are becoming an unaffordable luxury item for some families.
Reduced access to routine dental treatment during lockdown has also contributed to a decline in children’s oral health. Now, tooth decay surpasses acute tonsillitis as the leading cause of hospital admissions among young children.
Tips for looking after your children’s teeth
The most important thing you can do to maintain your child’s oral health is to ensure they are brushing their teeth. Ideally, twice a day. A fluoride toothpaste can be purchased for less than £1 if you choose an own-brand. Toothbrushes can also be picked up for £1, lasting around three months.
Until the age of seven, children should be supervised while brushing their teeth to ensure it is done correctly. They should brush for two minutes, but not too soon after eating or drinking. The sugars in food soften the enamel on the teeth – so try to leave a good half hour before tooth brushing.
Maintaining dentists’ appointments is also crucial to help identify and treat any signs of tooth decay. However, many parents are struggling to get an appointment on the NHS due to the current dentistry crisis.
If you are struggling to look after your children’s teeth due to the cost-of-living crisis, help is available. Food banks, NHS Trusts, and many schools are offering free toothpaste and toothbrushes to those who need them. Supplied by Beauty Banks, oral hygiene items are now one of the most requested items for families.
Keeping your children’s teeth protected with CK Dental
For more detailed advice on how to care for your children’s teeth, book an appointment with one of our friendly dentists today. We offer an affordable and gentle family dentistry service, providing complete care for you and your little ones. For children over 6 years of age, the cost is £30, while for children under the age of 6 it is £15.