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A third of children could soon face emergency dentistry, study finds

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A third of children aged 12 have bad teeth.A third of children aged 12 could soon be in need of emergency dentistry if they do not take better care of their teeth.

This is the discovery of the new Dental Epidemiology Programme carried out by Liverpool John Moores University, which found that 33.4 per cent of youngsters in this age bracket had decayed, missing or already filled teeth in 2008-09.

On average, the children involved in the study had two teeth that were affected by decay, meaning they could need emergency dentistry treatment soon.

However, there were significant disparities between different areas in the UK, with more than half of the children in some areas having bad dental hygiene.

The worst area was found to be Knowsley in Merseyside, where 56 per cent of 12-year-olds were affected by decay, while Southwark in London was four times better with a figure of 13 per cent.

Health minister Lord Howe commented: "Even though there have been improvements in children's oral health, there is more that can and should be done to tackle persistent inequalities."

This follows recent research from Philips Sonicare cited by Dentistry.co.uk, which showed that 29 per cent of parents allow their children to skip brushing because they are too rushed in the mornings.

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