Oral Hygiene Factsheet Jan 2013

Oral Hygiene Factsheet Jan 2013

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Summary

The Dental Health Foundation recommends tooth brushing twice daily which removes plaque and prevents dental decay. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer). Adolescents who brush their teeth more than once a day by the time they are 12 years old are more likely to continue to do so throughout their teenage years. Therefore good oral hygiene is of vital importance to the general health and well-being of children and adolescents.

The Health Behaviour of School Aged Children (HBSC) Ireland team at NUI, Galway has launched Factsheets from their 2010 research including one on 'Oral Hygiene among schoolchildren in Ireland' The findings of the research are encouraging in that there has been an increase in reported brushing of teeth more than once a day with 67.2% of schoolchildren brushing in 2010 compared to 62.5% in 2006. Ireland is ranked 21st out of 40 countries in Europe and North America for the percentage of 15 year olds who report brushing their teeth more than once a day. While DHF welcomes these trends, there is a need for these trends to continue in the right direction with a particular focus on maintaining the tooth brushing habits that develop in younger boys and increasing rates in younger girls so they will maintain this as they get older.