24 Dec 2010

Britain's dental health improves, but concerns still remain

Britain's dental health improves, but concerns still remain
Improvements to the dental health of the British population are being undermined by a widespread failure for many people to visit a dentist on a regular basis.
Official figures published today show that the proportion of adults in England with visible decay has fallen by a fifth since 1998.
The figures, outlined in the 2009 Adult Dental Health Survey, also show the proportion of adults who had no natural teeth has also fallen in the last 30 years, by almost a quarter in England and by more than a third in Northern Ireland and Wales.
However, one third of the adult population fail to go to the dentist regularly, putting their dental health at risk.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said the latest figures confirm the progress which has been made in regards to the improving standards of oral health in the UK.
"We have suspected this to be true for a while now and it is certainly pleasing to finally see this indeed to be the case," he said. But he added that while there is greater awareness of the importance of regular dental health checks, people are failing to actually visit their dentist as much as they should.....

........Matthews said that there is a widespread failure to recognise that the two main dental diseases, tooth decay and gum disease, are "almost totally preventable".

He added: "We know enough - enough to prevent another child ever crying with toothache, enough to keep everyone's smile for a lifetime. It's a question of whether we want to know these things, when we spend nearly £5bn on sweets alone in the UK each year, but only a third of a billion on toothpaste."

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