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How do professionals treat dental problems in children?

A new survey aims to find out the best way to treat child tooth decay.

New research from the Universities of Dundee, Leeds and Newcastle will look at 1,400 child dental patients to come up with the best course of action for the majority of cases.

The study aims to find more concrete evidence on the main cause of tooth problems in children as well as looking at courses of action. Over 50 practices around the UK are engaged in helping the study and have signed up to find participants who will provide in depth information for researchers.

Main aims of the research will look at different methods of managing decay, namely preventive techniques such as brushing, conventional fillings and biological treatments. Professionals will be also asking three to seven year olds what they think about these procedures to gauge reactions.

Potential results could provide a positive outlook for the future of the dental industry. Dr Nicola Innes, clinical senior lecturer in Paediatric Dentistry at the University of Dundee, said: “Children who need dental care will benefit as dentists will have a better understanding of what works for their child patients.”

Child dental health has been under the spotlight recently with June’s National Smile Month promoting a rigorous tooth-brushing routine in schools throughout the UK. It was found that in 2009, 66.6 per cent of children under the age of 12 has visible dental decay, compared to just ten per cent in 1973.

The focused introduction of fizzy drinks and sweets has been detrimental to the oral health of people everywhere, however most of all to children who are allowed these snacks from a very early age.

Alongside the new search from the Universities of Dundee, Leeds and Newcastle, dental professionals are urged to pass on a positive message of oral hygiene through dental marketing materials such as leaflets and posters.

Commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment, research looks set to get underway as soon as possible.

Posted by Allie Wright

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