Oral health care in children

A child's oral health is recognised as being a contributing factor to their healthy development.

Article by Sarah Greenshields

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A child's oral health is recognised as being a contributing factor to their healthy development. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines oral health as being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, cancers, infection and other conditions that may inhibit a person's ability to chew, bite, smile or speak (WHO, 2018). Oral health problems include gum disease, tooth decay (Figure 1), tooth loss and other oral mucosal diseases.

– Figure 1. Dental caries in a 3-year-old

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease affecting children and young people in England and is considered to be mostly preventable (Public Health England, 2016a). It is considered to be a public health priority linked to childhood obesity and is also connected to factors such as

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