Tooth decay prevalent in kids; 79% in Kuwait

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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 30: Dr. Sumant Mishra, a specialist in pediatric dentistry at the Amiri Hospital and Bneid Al-Gar Specialized Dental Hospital, says about 514 million children suffer from caries (decay) in their primary teeth, according to the World Health Organization. In a special press statement, Dr. Mishra said the average prevalence of Early Childhood Caries (ECC) around the world is estimated at 23.8 percent, and 57.3 percent of the children are under the age of three years. He explained that a study conducted in Kuwait years ago revealed high caries rates in early childhood by up to 79 percent.

Only about 19 percent of children were free of caries. Caries in early childhood pose a major threat to children’s oral health and their general well-being. ECC indicates the development of cavities or tooth decay in children who are six years or younger. It primarily affects the baby’s (milk) teeth and can lead to pain, infections, difficulty in eating, and speech problems. In some cases, it may affect the permanent teeth and the child’s overall development. Poor oral hygiene is one of the most important causes of tooth decay in early childhood.

Not brushing and flossing teeth adequately can lead to the accumulation of plaque, which is a sticky layer of bacteria that attacks tooth enamel, as well as frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks. Vertical transmission of bacteria also leads to childhood caries, as the transfer of cavity-causing bacteria can occur from parents or caregivers to children by sharing tools, kissing, or any other oral contact. Lack of access to dental care and infrequent visits to the dentist represent an obstacle in the early detection and intervention of ECC. Regarding the prevention of caries at this stage, Dr. Mishra called for good oral hygiene practices by teaching children proper techniques for brushing teeth, and ensuring that they brush their teeth at least twice a day when the first tooth emerges, and use dental floss, as well as following healthy eating habits particularly a balanced diet that is low in sugary foods and drinks.

dentist checking teeth of a person
Photo by Arvind Philomin on Pexels.com

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff

This news has been read 1263 times!

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