Editorial - (2021) Volume 7, Issue 3
Caries in children's teeth is both an obvious and an unspoken problem. Children with dental erosion may have difficulties eating, speaking, and sleeping, may be distressed and in pain, and may smile less, all of which can have an impact on their development, welfare, family and social lives, and academic achievement. Dental diseases unfairly target society's most oppressed and deprived members—such as poor children, immigrants, disabled people, and native communities their health consequences is underappreciated, and the global epidemic of oral diseases is not getting the recognition it merits.
In 2015, a large portion of the world's youngsters — 573 million in total — had unresolved tooth decay. At ages 1–4 years and 15–19 years, respectively, the occurrence of neglected cavities which leads to deciduous or everlasting tooth irregularities is commonly found. Several kids and teenagers, notably those within limited income situations, will experience lifelong, grave implications of chronic untreated dental caries, like enduring pain and infections, and a diminished quality of life and loss of productivity at school and work, due to insufficient access to and exorbitant costs of treatment. Dental illnesses are a significant health and financial concern also in high-income countries. According to a statement made by the Royal College of Surgeons of England on August 15, 2019, dental caries is the primary cause of hospitalisations among kids aged 5–9 years in England, for around 78000 admissions in 2015–18.
The significant prevalence of preventive dental caries, which produces such a tremendous disease burden, seriously undermines present oral health facilities and services health strategies. Because not all insurance companies provide dental insurance, lower than 60% of kids under the age of five consult dentist on a routine basis. Although oral services are free for kids under the age of 18 in England, the most of kids under the age of 18 did not visit a dentist. This demonstrates that money is only one factor in obtaining proper dental treatment. Due to the demand-driven nature of dentistry, clinics are typically located in affluent areas, resulting in a significant supply-demand mismatch. To drive dental health as forefront of global and public health agendas, all main participants like universities, dentists, dental groups, and governments, as well as the FDI World Dental Federation and WHO—must pledge and act.
Throughout this regard, the UK government's announcement that monitored brushing and flossing program will be expanded in kindergartens and elementary schools is a positive step forward. Campaigns and new regulations to address the wider socioeconomic and economic drivers, as with obesity and other non - communicable diseases, should be the answer. Policies, such as sugary product taxes or levies, tougher limitations on sugar rich food and beverages advertising and marketing to kids and teens, and water fluoridation, should be adopted as soon as possible. Regulators should also insist that manufacturers reformulate their goods to lower sugar content, particularly in baby feeds. Furthermore, critical stakeholders should stay away from sugar industry funding and support. Individually, child healthcare professionals must recognise that dental health is an important element of a child's overall well-being and get adequate training.
Dentists can start conversations on dental health with both parents and children at normal visits, and provide easy teaching regarding dental care procedures and healthy eating habits, especially where parents are most receptive (eg, when infants transition to solid foods). Dental health is not an important element of a child’s overall wellness which should be a privilege reserved for wealthy, nor should it be forfeited for financial gain. Straightforward and cost-effective strategies to prevent tooth decay include thorough teeth cleaning, reduced sugar intake, and regular dental visits. However, in order to combat the sugar rich environment in which we live, these treatments must be executed in an appropriate manner and complemented by strong advocacy and legislative initiatives.