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Who is at risk and why?

Background papers: children :: Dental health in children :: Who is at risk and why?

Tooth decay is caused by the frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks, which are metabolised by bacteria in the mouth resulting in the production of acids. These acids dissolve the substance of the tooth and over time, can eventually lead to the formation of cavities.

Children of all ages are at risk of tooth decay. However, in common with other chronic diseases, those from socially deprived backgrounds are more likely to experience tooth decay (Watt and Sheiham, 1999; Locker, 2000). Additionally, vulnerable groups such as children with a learning disability are more susceptible to tooth decay.

Fluoride in drinking water is protective against dental decay. In Kent the population does not benefit from fluoridated water as natural levels are low and none is added[1].


[1]   Society TBF. One in a Million. The facts about water fluoridation. 2nd edition 2012; The British Fluoridation Society. .