childrens dentistry bristol

Cost of Living Crisis Leaves Children’s Oral Health on the Line

As a dental practice, we are deeply concerned about the impact of the current cost of living crisis on children’s oral health. The rising cost of living, including food, housing, and healthcare, has put a significant strain on many families, making it difficult for them to prioritize dental care for their children.

One of the primary ways that the cost of living crisis is affecting children’s oral health is through poor nutrition as well as reducing access to toothpaste and toothbrushes. When families are struggling to make ends meet, they may not be able to afford healthy food options, which can lead to a diet high in sugar and processed foods. This type of diet can have a devastating impact on children’s oral health, increasing the risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems.

The British Dental Association worked with Beauty Banks and secondary school teachers to research the effects of the cost of living crisis on pupil’s oral health.

Their survey revealed:

  • 83% of secondary teachers say they or their school have given students toothbrushes and toothpaste.
  • 81% of secondary school teachers also said there are children in their school who don’t have regular access to supplies
  • 25% say children miss school because of poor oral hygiene.
  • 50% said children had noticeable tooth decay.
  • 30% noted children in dental pain or suffering from halitosis

Jo Jones, co-founder of Beauty Banks said: “We work with charities including food banks, family centres, domestic abuse centres, homeless shelters and universally – across the board – toothpaste is now our most requested item. Before the cost of living crisis, it wasn’t even in the top three.”

This is why Anna our head nurse at City Bridge dental Care has put together some oral health bags containing children’s toothpaste and brushes with the help of Colgate and Tracey from CTS. These 50 bags are free to collect from our receptionist one per child on a first come basis.

So, what else can parents do to maintain their children’s oral health during these challenging times?

Here are some tips:

  1. Prioritize healthy eating habits: Encourage your children to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit sugary and processed foods, which can damage teeth and lead to cavities.
  2. Practice good oral hygiene: Make sure your children brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily.
  3. Stay on top of dental appointments: Regular check-ups help detect and treat oral health problems early on, before they become more serious.

In conclusion, the cost of living crisis is having a profound impact on children’s oral health. As a dental practice, we are committed to providing affordable, high-quality dental care to all families, and we urge parents to prioritize their children’s oral health during these challenging times.

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