A new Welsh report on dental health has shown a steady and consistent decrease in the prevalence of tooth decay among 11- to 12-year-old children.
The report was published by the Welsh Oral Health Information Unit at Cardiff University in collaboration with Public Health Wales (PHW) and stems from a survey of 5700 school children in Wales aged 11 to 12 years.
The findings revealed that the prevalence rate of obvious tooth decay in children aged 11 to 12 years has dropped substantially from 45% in 2004-2005 to 30% in 2016-2017. The figure was as high as 63% in 1998-1999. The recent 15% reduction in tooth decay has been observed across all regions of Wales and deprivation levels. The 30% of children with tooth decay had an average of 2.1 adult teeth decayed, missing or filled.
According to Nigel Monaghan, a survey coordinator at PHW, the positive findings in the report indicate that combined effect of national and individual actions to lower sugar intake, and efforts for dental fluoridation have been effective. Anup Karki, Dental Public Health Team Lead says that the burden of dental decay still remains significant and hence sustained multilevel interventions to reduce sugar consumption, delivery of effective prevention and necessary dental care are required to reduce the impact of this disease.