Scotland: poorer children have worse dental health

07 December 2018

Children in Scotland’s most deprived areas are more likely to have tooth decay than their more affluent peers.

Dental Health iStock

The National Dental Inspection Programme report, which surveyed more than 16,000 first-year primary pupils, found that 56% of those from the most deprived areas had no obvious signs of decayed, missing or filled milk teeth. That figure rose to 86% in the least deprived areas – a 3% wider gap than in the previous year.

Despite the widening inequality, the oral health of Scotland’s children in general continues to improve, with more than two-thirds (71%) showing no obvious signs of decay – up from 38% in 1994.

The average number of children’s teeth affected by obvious decay was 1.14, down from 2.76 in 2003.

Picture credit | iStock