Why Children’s Oral Health is in Such a Poor State and What We Can Do About It

Why Children’s Oral Health is in Such a Poor State and What We Can Do About It

For families across the country, caring for their children’s oral health is a daily priority. Yet the UK has seen a steady decline in children’s oral health over the past few decades. This is likely due to inadequate diet, lack of knowledge around dental hygiene, and, in some cases, limited access to dental services.

Without early intervention and regular dental visits, the widespread issue of poor oral health in children is likely to continue. At Marsh House, we are dedicated to providing outstanding dental care for children, and raising awareness of the factors impacting their oral health. Through regular dental visits from an early age, we can help to improve the oral health of children in the UK. You can play your part in helping too; read on to learn more.

What Causes Widespread Poor Oral Health in Children?

Poor oral health in children is now the most common chronic childhood disease in the UK, and is likely to worsen without increased awareness and significant intervention. This widespread issue is typically caused by a combination of factors, including several that parents should be aware of to protect their children’s health.

Cost of Living Crisis

The continuing poor state of children’s oral health can be linked to the widening inequalities that the cost of living crisis is causing. For many struggling households, essentials such as toothbrushes and toothpaste are now becoming unaffordable luxuries. This also has a knock-on effect on the quality of food that children receive, which can damage their teeth, as well as potentially missing out on essential dental appointments as their parents cannot afford to take time off work.


A widespread cause of poor oral health is inadequate dietary habits, such as eating sugary snacks or drinking sugary drinks. This can also be linked to the cost of living crisis, as the cost of healthy eating continues to rise and many families are forced to make do with cheaper, less nutritional alternatives that can damage their teeth.

Understanding and Awareness

Poor understanding of the importance of proper oral hygiene can also play a role. Children may not understand the importance of brushing and flossing teeth regularly or of visiting the dentist for regular checkups. Without proper understanding of these basics, children can suffer from cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues, which can lead to more serious health problems in the long run.

What Can We Do About It

The Government and Health Organisations

The current state of children’s oral health has been widely deemed a national disgrace and the UK government and health organisations must take action to address the causes:

  • Preventative schemes and programmes, such as toothbrushing programmes and oral health sessions in schools should be supported and given the funding that they need to continue educating children and parents on the importance of oral health.
  • Access to proper dental care should be increased, particularly in rurally isolated areas and deprived communities to ensure that children in these communities can access the care they need.

Parents and Guardians

There are several steps that you can take to ensure your children have healthy teeth and gums:

  • Get your child into a good routine of brushing their teeth twice daily
  • Limit sugary snacks and drinks throughout the day, and try to give your children more healthy snacks and drinks instead.
  • Book your children in to visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and advice.
  • Take an active role in educating your children about the importance of oral health, and the risks associated with poor oral hygiene.
  • Set a good example for your children by brushing your teeth at least twice daily and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups.

Kids Dental at Marsh House

Here at Marsh House, we are committed to combating poor dental health in children and we are doing our bit to ensure that all children have access to high quality dental care:

  • We provide extensive and detailed oral hygiene services for children of all ages, such as routine-check ups and cleaning, designed to ensure that they have the skills to maintain their oral and dental health for life.
  • We specialise in preventative dentistry, such as fluoride varnish, fissure sealant and custom-made mouthguards to ensure the highest level of protection for your children’s teeth.
  • We support our patients to develop healthy oral habits, as well as offering specialist advice and education to children and parents about the importance of good oral hygiene and the risks of neglecting it.
  • We also provide a wide range of restorative services, such as fillings, crowns, and root canals, for children who have existing dental problems.

Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

If you are searching for a specialist children’s dentist that you can trust, we are here to care for your child’s oral health. Located in Marsh House Orthodontics in Mitcham, we provide preventative dental care, dental treatments, and early orthodontics to provide your child with the highest quality of care.

To enquire with us about our services or to arrange an appointment, please call 020 8646 6300 or book an appointment online.