ALMOST 30 per cent of five-year-olds in Wearside suffer from tooth decay – but the rate is falling faster than anywhere else in the country, according to new figures.
The Public Health England survey shows that the number in the North East who had experienced tooth decay fell from 39.8 per cent in 2008 to 29.7 per cent in 2012. This compares with England which fell from 30.9 per cent to 27.9 per cent over the same period.
Dianne Tabari, regional co-ordinator for the survey and an adviser in dental public health working for Public Health England in the North East, said: “We are delighted to see a significant improvement. It is encouraging to see that the North East appears to be catching up with the rest of the country – but we must remember that our levels of decay are still above the national average.”
The improvement – which has been seen across the country – is thought to have been boosted by toothpaste with more fluoride in it, local initiatives to improve oral health of young children and a national Department of Health drive to promote a prevention-focused service.
The report – National Dental Epidemiology Programme for England, oral health survey of five-year-old children 2012 – is the second such national survey.