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Oral Fail 2011/05/06

Posted by Mummy Ruth in Health, Kids, Musings, real life, Whinge.
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[scan of School Letter about Dental Care]Daddy Dave and I were pretty shocked with the latest missive from Olivia’s primary school. In Primary One, the very first year of schooling (children are four or five years of age, with baby teeth), just over half had normal teeth.  Of the 43.9 per cent of bad teeth, a whopping 14 per cent had severe decay!

In this day-and-age! Goodness me. The figures for the last year of the Primary school system — Primary Seven — is about the children’s adult set of teeth, so these kids get a wiped slate and a fresh start.

What a shame! The “bad teeth” numbers rose dramatically — what was 43.9 per cent in P1, has become nearly 81 per cent by P7.

On the plus-side, the amount of “severe decay” has fallen away from 14 per cent in pre-school to just under 2 per cent for pre-teenager.

  • When almost four out of five pre-teens have had tooth problems, something is seriously wrong!  They start school with just under half having bad teeth, and end school with over 80 per cent bad teeth.

Is it diet? sweeties, fruit, and acidy drinks — or is it bad brushing techniques?  Maybe it is both?

We are lucky that our two (so far) regularly visit the dentist for check-ups, they brush well, and we watch what they eat and drink.  For example, after teeth are brushed at night, there is no food and no sweet drinks.  DP always wants us to buy him bottled water, and Oli drinks a lot of tap water. We also have funny sets of Billy-Bob teeth (so they know what “bad” teeth can be)’

DP’s teeth might not be “pretty”, but they are in good nick!  Oli’s teeth have been brilliant — her baby teeth came in early and like perfect little pearls, her big teeth have been coming in just fine.  We will just have to hope that the school experience and peer pressure doesn’t spoil things — we’ll have to keep an eye on this; we don’t want kids to look like Austin Powers!

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