Dentistry and Medical Research

EDITORIAL
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 57--58

Child oral health


Yasmen Elhadi Elamin Elsadek 
 Department of Dental Public Health, School of Dentistry, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Correspondence Address:
Yasmen Elhadi Elamin Elsadek
School of Dentistry, University of Leeds, Clarendon Way, Leeds, LS2 9JT
UK




How to cite this article:
Elamin Elsadek YE. Child oral health.Dent Med Res 2021;9:57-58


How to cite this URL:
Elamin Elsadek YE. Child oral health. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 5 ];9:57-58
Available from: https://www.dmrjournal.org/text.asp?2021/9/2/57/331399


Full Text



Child health has been of global interest for the past few decades.[1] Globally, around 11 million deaths of children under the age of 5 years occur, which are due to preventable causes. Hence, child health has taken center stage.[2] Dental caries if left untreated may lead to serious complications including sepsis.[3] As such, the prevention of childhood caries is a public health priority. Children have been given priority in global agenda due to their vulnerability which is usually exacerbated in children from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds.[4] As a result, these minority groups face an aggregate burden of oral disease which gets complicated with the socioeconomic and cultural barriers to oral health care.[5]

Dental caries is considered an appalling public health problem, it accounts for the majority of global problem of oral disease[6] being the most prevalent disease of childhood.[7] Tooth decay although largely preventable has been found to affect around 60% to 90% of children worldwide.[6] Moreover, the impact of dental caries can endure throughout life course affecting adult health[8],[9] and potentially, future cohorts.[10]

Dental decay being associated with pain and other severe complications affects function, esthetics, and overall quality of life.[11],[12] Dental pain causes eating, playing, and sleeping difficulties[13] which detrimentally affect children's social development and well-being. Furthermore, the consequences of untreated dental caries may extend to affect the child psychosocially, lowering their confidence and self-esteem, which may lead to loneliness and social isolation.[4] Moreover, dental pain deteriorates school performance and achievements as it causes repetitive absenteeism,[14] for example, in England, 26% of schoolchildren missed an average of three school days due to dental caries.[15]

In addition, Goffman[16] argued the importance of facial appearance (particularly the mouth) in most cultures. In modern culture, tooth decay and loss appear to have negative connotations, being commonly associated with severe deprivation and disadvantage[17] as well as unhygienic/unhealthy lifestyles.[18]

Maintenance of good oral health depends on a myriad of socioenvironmental and behavioral factors that pose challenges to designing effective health promotion and prevention programs.[19] Behavioral causes of dental decay such as frequent sugar consumption and inadequate oral hygiene practices are virtually completely preventable.[20] For these reasons and those highlighted above, oral health promotion has become common practice throughout the world, at both individual and population levels. However, the aforementioned complex interplay of variables influences oral health, potentially having a cumulative effect that appears most profound in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities.

Globally, at least 200 million children do not attaining their full development potential,[21] the issue that has a huge impact on children's health and the society as a whole.[1] However, over one billion children access schools worldwide, which clearly are settings where people learn, play, love, work, and spend a lot of their time. Henceforth, they are considered appropriate settings for promoting health including oral health.

It is crucial to determine the oral health status of schoolchildren to assist service planning and development that in turn would be orientated to meeting the needs of the population.[22] Henceforth, we should attempt to demonstrate the range of approaches that could be adopted to resolve this ongoing problem by reviewing the effectiveness of interventions targeting children in foundational years and determining the challenges and facilitators to achieving effective change. This will hopefully assist the improvement of child oral health outcomes worldwide.

Hence, we invite authors to contribute to the evidence base by submitting high-quality research regarding oral health promotion, prevention, and disease burden. We welcome original articles, systematic reviews, informative case series, and case reports. Papers reporting on the methodological aspects of research in this area are also very welcome.

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