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Instances of tooth decay in Irish children may be reduced thanks to a new initiative based at University College Cork.
Funded by the country’s Health Research Board, the scheme has produced comprehensive evidence-based guidelines, which will help prevent further cases of tooth decay, currently the single most common chronic disease in Irish children.
Lead researcher and senior dental surgeon Dr Carmel Parnell said that it is now known that children are being seen "too late to effectively prevent decay".
"With all of the research evidence pointing towards early identification and preventive measures, particularly at a very young age, we realised that we need involve public health nurses, practice nurses, GPs and other primary care workers … in identifying preschool children at high risk of decay," she explained.
Dr Carmel Parnell went on to say that this "seemed the most practical way" of developing needs-based access to dental services.
Tooth decay is currently the most common cause of tooth loss in younger people, with the disease affecting almost everybody at some point in their lives.
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