Oral Health during Childhood

The 2005/2006 National Child Dental  Survey published in 2009 by the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health(ARCPOH)  indicate both the levels of untreated decay and dental caries experience in deciduous teeth were highest in the Northern Territory followed by Tasmania while the mean number of missing teeth per child was highest in Tasmania. Both were well above the national average.

The next National Child Oral Health survey published in 2016 indicated the prevalence of dental caries in both the primary and the permanent dentition of children from ACT, SA, Tas  were lower than the national prevalence.
The World Health Organisation advocates using health promoting school programs to promote oral and general health and to work towards changes in cultural and organisational practice.i

Reliable evidence exists that programs such as Move Well Eat Well (MWEW) that encourage healthy food and drink policies, curriculum activities and links to the community and family that make healthy choices easier  within the school and the community,ii, iii especially if there is an emphasis on oral health.iv

Programs and partnerships such as MWEW, increased access to reticulated water fluoridation, Oral Health Service Tasmania’s commitment to providing  targeted and population health early intervention and preventive programs and the continued 0-5 year focus  can improve the oral and general health outcomes of Tasmania’s children.

i Kwan SY, Petersen PE, Pine CM, Borutta A. 2005,Health-promoting schools: an opportunity for oral
health promotion, Bulletin of the World HealthOrganization, vol. 83, pp. 677-685.

ii Moyses ST, Moyses SJ, Watt RG, Sheiham A. 2003, Associations between health promoting schools’
policies and indicators of oral health in Brazil, HealthPromotion International, vol. 18, pp. 209-218.

iii Stokes E, Pine CM, Harris RV. 2009, The promotionof oral health within the Healthy School context in
England: a qualitative research study, BMC OralHealth, vol. 9, pp. 3.

iv Rogers JG. Evidence-based oral health promotion resource. Prevention and Population Health Branch, Government of Victoria, 2011