FamilyLife Local News

Stopping the rot – tooth decay in 5-year-olds continues to decline

Levels of tooth decay in 5-year-old children are continuing on a steady decline, with Test Valley better than the national figures according to data published by Public Health England.

Figures reveal just over 23% of 5-year-olds in England had decayed, missing or filled teeth in 2017, significantly down from almost 31% in 2008.

In the Test Valley area that figure falls to just under 8% – significantly down on the national figure.

Mahsa Balaie from New Street Dental Care told Andover Radio some ways to keep these figures low.

The most important thing in caries (tooth decay or cavities) prevention is controlling the acid attack caused by sugars.

“We can reduce or reverse this by making sure your child’s teeth are being brushed twice a day, making sure the toothpaste they are using is age appropriate, and making sure that their toothpaste has the right amount of fluoride in it. It has been clinically proven that anything less than 1,000 parts per million of fluoride is ineffective in preventing caries.

“A good tip is to carry cheese with you in order to neutralise the acid attack caused by the sugar. And lastly, it is recommended to limit sugar intake to once a week if possible – remember, it’s frequency over quantity.