Oral health habits amongst children in the UNited Kingdom in 2003

Deborah White, BL Chadwick, NM Nuttall, IG Chestnutt, JG Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background The 2003 Children's Dental Health Survey is the fourth in a series of decennial national children's dental health surveys. Aims This paper presents data on parental attitudes towards the care of children's teeth and gums, reported oral hygiene behaviours and clinical measures of hygiene and periodontal health in 2003 and highlights trends since previous surveys. Method A total of 10,381 children were examined in schools by trained and calibrated examiners. Four measures of hygiene and periodontal health were recorded as part of the clinical examination. In addition, 3,342 questionnaires were completed by parents of a sub-sample of these children. The questionnaire enabled information to be collected about reported oral health behaviours and parental attitudes. Results About three quarters of children across all age groups are reported to brush their teeth twice daily. A range of oral health products was reported as being used in addition to toothbrushes and toothpaste. There is a trend in parental preferences towards restoration of teeth rather than extractions and towards a better understanding of dental caries prevention. Although overall a higher proportion of children in this survey appeared to have gingival inflammation, plaque and calculus than 10 and 20 years ago, there was no change in the proportion of older children with gingivitis. Conclusions Dental practitioners have a role to play in reinforcing these positive attitudes and encouraging appropriate and effective oral hygiene behaviours in their child patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487 - 491
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Oral health habits amongst children in the UNited Kingdom in 2003'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this