The reported impact of oral condition on children in the United Kingdom 2003

NM Nuttall, JG Steele, B Chadwick, D Evans, Alexander Morris, Kirsty Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background The 2003 Children's Dental Health Survey is the fourth in a series of decennial national children's dental health surveys of the United Kingdom. Aims This paper is concerned with how children are reported to have been affected by their oral condition during the 12 month period immediately preceding the survey and how this relates to the children's experience of caries, their dental attendance behaviour and their social class. Method The information was gathered by self-completion questionnaire distributed to the parents of half of the sample who were clinically examined in the dental survey. Results Some form of impact was reported by the parents of 22% of five-year-olds, 26% of eight-year-olds, 34% of 12-year-olds and 28% of 15-year-olds. The pattern of responses to the eight impact questions was broadly similar across age groups. The most frequently reported type of impact was pain in all age groups. Impacts on oral function, self-confidence, orally related activity and on the child's emotions were experienced by 4-10% of children of all ages. Fewer children ( 1-2%) were reported to have experienced more far reaching impacts affecting their social functioning, general health and life overall. Conclusions Most children were reported not to have experienced any of the problems covered by the questionnaire. Of those who did, most reported a single problem and for most this was pain. Nevertheless there was a group of children for whom oral function, self-confidence, orally related activity, emotions, social functioning, their health or their life in general were reported to have been affected by their oral condition. The nature of dental care which is appropriate for such children needs to be determined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2006


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