Our response to HSCIC statistics on children’s dental care

New statistics show that nearly half of 15 year olds and a third of 12 year olds had obvious tooth decay.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has published statistics from the 2013 Children's Dental Health Survey. It is the fifth in a serious of national children’s dental health surveys that have been carried out every ten years since 1973.

The 2013 survey provides statistical estimates on the dental health of 5, 8, 12 and 15 year old children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, using data collected during dental examinations conducted in schools on a random sample of children by NHS dentists and nurses.

The survey measures changes in oral health since the last survey in 2003, and provides information on the distribution and severity of oral diseases and conditions in 2013.

Responding to the statistics our Chair, Anna Bradley, said:

“Tooth decay is preventable as long as parents have the right information about and access to NHS dentists.

“Yet we know from local Healthwatch research into dentist access that some parents can't find a dentist who will treat their children on the NHS and others don’t know when to take their child to the dentist. It seems that, as a result, children with tooth decay are increasingly needing emergency dental treatments in hospital. Last year alone 26,000 five-nine year olds required emergency dental surgery*.

“It’s crucial that information about which dentists are available to NHS patients is up-to-date and there is good information for parents about how to care for their children's teeth. This means decay can be prevented and there is no need resort to emergency A&E treatments when decay has already set in."

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Take a look in more detail at the latest statistics. 

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