Around a quarter of the Island’s five year olds have tooth decay.
Poor oral health is known to affect children both physically and psychologically - as tooth decay is preventable, we are keen to reduce rates on the Isle of Man.
Children with severe caries commonly experience:
- Acute and chronic infections
- Eating disruptions
- Sleep disruptions.
Alongside the physical effects, children with poor oral health are almost three times more likely to miss days from school as a result of the dental pain, which can then impact school performance and the child’s ability to learn.
Towards the end of 2017, Public Health piloted a three month supervised toothbrushing programme within local nursery settings.
Six nursery providers* participated in this pilot and offered toothbrushing as part of their daily routines. In total around 170 nursery children took part over the three month period.
* Hopes & Dreams, Parklands, The Buchan, The Buzz Pre-School, Crossroads, and The Children’s Centre.
Importance of toothbrushing
The foundation for healthy permanent teeth in children is laid during the first year of life. When baby teeth are damaged or destroyed by decay, permanent teeth have no guide to move into their proper position, resulting in crowded or crooked adult teeth. If left untreated, decay can also spread from the baby tooth to the permanent tooth forming underneath.
It is essential to establish a proper oral hygiene routine early in life to help ensure the development of strong, healthy teeth.
Twice-daily brushing at home should take place every day, once in the morning and once at night, just before bed.