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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited
Databank. Dental health
A recent survey was conducted linking oral health and nutrition of young people in the UK today. It examined the condition of teeth and gums, food composition, nutrient intake and socio-demographic characteristics of a representative sample of more than 1,700 young people. The main findings were that 53 per cent had dental decay in their primary or permanent teeth. Levels were highest in Scotland and lowest for children living in London and the South East. The vast majority of respondents reported visiting a dentist at least once and those who had attended in the last six months for a check had considerably less dental decay. The intakes of sugary foods, foods containing added sugar and acidic foods were related to socio-demographic factors at different ages. The average daily intake of sugary foods increased significantly between two age groups: four to six years and seven to ten years. Soft drinks were the largest contributor. Also, those who reported eating sugar confectionery at least once a day were more likely to have dental decay than those who ate this type of food less often.