Caries in children decreases with parental income

Caries in children decreases with parental income

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World Caries Congress: Less caries in children

The World Caries Congress starts today in Greifswald, at which around 300 caries researchers from 35 countries are expected. The doctors want to discuss diagnostic procedures and the treatment of tooth decay by Saturday, whereby alternative treatment concepts will also be discussed. Children's dental health should also be a focus. While caries levels are falling in most industrialized countries, they are rising in many emerging countries. The reason is the increased sugar consumption due to the increasing wealth. At the same time, however, there are no precautionary systems for caries prevention, explains the Greifswald dentist and conference leader Prof. Dr. Christian Splieth.

Significant decline in tooth decay in the industrialized countries "Greifswald is honored to host this conference ahead of Brussels and Athens", Splieth is quoted by the internet portal "". "Perhaps this is also a recognition of the above-average caries values ​​that we as pediatric dentists in Greifswald were able to achieve with Scandinavian prevention concepts."

In industrialized countries, children have healthier teeth overall than they did a few years ago. Nevertheless, there are still great social differences, said Splieth. While adolescents had an average of seven carious teeth in the 1980s, today it is only 0.7. "The decay of caries is a medical success story," said the dentist from the news agency "dpa", referring to the fourth German oral health study. However, the development is less positive in other countries. In some emerging countries and emerging industrialized countries, caries is even increasing. "With increasing wealth, sugar consumption increases in these countries," said Splieth. However, the necessary preventive systems for caries prophylaxis are usually missing. For example, in Brazil, Lithuania and Poland, 12-year-olds have an average of six carious teeth.

Preventing tooth decay through consistent tooth brushing and fluoride administration Consistent tooth brushing and fluoride administration are the main reasons for the decline of caries in most industrialized countries, according to the researchers. "The causes of tooth decay have been known since the 1950s and 1960s," explains the dentist. Toothpaste with fluoride is very effective. "Society has established the view that you no longer have to end up with a total dentition like grandma used to be." There were also prophylaxis in kindergartens and schools as well as at the dentist. For children from the age of three and adolescents, dental prevention is part of the health insurance benefits, but not so for those between the ages of 0 and 3. "This is a politically legislative gap that needs to be closed," says Splieth. "We know that children with a lot of deciduous tooth caries also have more caries in their permanent teeth later on."

Social status influences the dental health of adolescents As the fourth German oral health study shows, dental health is still reflected in social status. School education, as well as the professional status and income of parents play a role. According to the study, 15-year-olds with high social status have an average of 1.4 carious teeth, while those with low social status have 2.1 teeth with caries. As Splieth explains, studies in Greifswald have shown that a dentist in the public health system and a prophylactic assistant make a significant contribution to reducing caries values.

"After the convincing decline in caries, our main goal is to give everyone the chance to have health in the mouth with the same scientifically based methods," Splieth told the Internet portal.

Image: Claudia Heck /

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