Figures released by Public Health England have shown that more than a quarter of five-year-olds in Sheffield have tooth decay. Although the figure has dropped from 40.7% to 29.5% over the past five years, health experts warn that there is ‘still work to be done’.
Sheffield consultant in dental public health Kate Jones said that programmes targeting the dental health of youngsters were having a gradual impact on rates of decay but added that there was still some way to go before the levels could be seen as manageable. The figures were collected last year as part of the second national survey to assess the dental health of five-year-olds in the country; numbers also revealed the average number of decaying teeth found in Sheffield children’s mouths has dropped to 1.3, compared to 1.66 back in 2008. The average across Yorkshire is 33%, with the national average standing at just under 28%.
Ms Jones said that the reduction in decay was ‘very good news’ but added that ‘The Sheffield figure is an average and across the city there remain wide inequalities. There is still work to be done by the council to address these inequalities. Oral Health Action teams in several areas of the city have been working with Sheffield residents, community groups, schools and nurseries, pharmacies and health professionals to improve dental health and help people find a dentist.’