A new research has found that Scotland's kids continue to have the worst dental health in Europe with over 75 percent of the country's overall dental problems found in children aged less than five years.
The NHS has taken serious note of this and has asked parents to start their kids off on healthy dental habits at an early age to prevent dental decay. It is generally accepted that decayed baby teeth mean that the individual is cursed with a lifetime of dental problems and associated treatment. New guidelines issued by the NHS-affiliated Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (Sign), have taken into consideration the findings of a variety of studies conducted on decay in the milk teeth. Faulty brushing habits coupled with the consumption of sticky substances are generally responsible for triggering dental decay or dental caries.
'Tooth decay in young children is a problem that can be beaten. Our guidelines show that starting brushing early and making good decisions about what we eat and drink will mean more of our youngsters can avoid a cycle of dental treatment and repair,' said Dr Dafydd Evans, consultant in paediatric dentistry at Dundee University in Scotland. It is estimated that over a third of youngsters aged between three and six are not registered with a dentist and it is this group that is being targeted by the Scottish health officials. 'We have made several recommendations based on the evidence that well-planned prevention work backed by good advice, easily used dental services and support through nurseries and infant schools can make a lifetime's difference,' Dr Dafydd Evans concluded.
Children are to be discouraged from eating sugary snacks in between meals and also consuming unhealthy soft drinks. Fast foods like burgers and pizzas are also culpable in causing dental decay. It is also recommended that children should use toothpastes that contain enough amounts of Fluoride. 'Scotland has a desperate record on dental health. These guidelines highlight the worryingly high levels of tooth decay among children in Scotland's most deprived communities despite an overall improvement in oral health across the UK. Encouraging children to look after their teeth can save them from a lifetime of preventable dental treatment,' said Andrew Lamb, director of the British Dental Association in Scotland.