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Why It Matters

Tooth decay affects all aspects of a child’s life and has a long term impact on their future.

Tooth decay in children: The statistics

Child with tooth decay

Why Teeth Team’s mission has never been more important

Teeth Team was first established in 2010 due to deepening concern about the extremely high incidence of tooth decay in children in and around Hull. While we have worked hard to make a difference with our ever-growing charity, children’s oral health continues to become an increasingly urgent problem across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis that followed had a direct impact on children’s oral health. NHS figures showed that dentists saw just 29.8% of children under 16 in England in 2020. While a report during the cost of living crisis found that 83% of teachers had provided one or more pupils with toothbrushes and toothpaste. In 2024, the Academy of Medical Sciences released a stark report evidencing the declining health of children under 5 in the UK, listing tooth decay as one of the “major health issues” limiting the future and economic prosperity of children.

Furthermore, the prevalence and severity of tooth decay has been found to vary by geographical area. The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities published in February 2024 found that school children living in Yorkshire and The Humber were more likely to have experienced tooth decay (23%) than children living in the South West (12%).

Encouraging every child to have healthy teeth for life

Tooth decay impacts a child’s ability to do important things like eat, sleep, talk and go to school – which has a long-term impact on their future. Children with tooth decay are also four times more likely to develop decay as an adult.

Every child deserves the best start in life, regardless of their geographical location or economic circumstances and Teeth Team’s mission has never been more clear. Our school-based supervised brushing programme ensures all children are provided with dental health education and are seen by dental professionals. Our website is also full of resources for parents to encourage good oral health at home and an interactive kids zone that makes oral health learning fun.

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