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The impact of oral conditions on children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 2013

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard HolmesORCiD, Emeritus Professor Jimmy Steele CBE



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Nature Publishing Group, 2016.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Background: The 2013 Children’s Dental Health survey is the fifth in a series of national surveys. Aim: To summarise key findings on oral health perceptions, oral symptoms, and the impacts of oral conditions on the daily life of children and their families. Methodology: A representative sample of children (aged 5, 8 12 and 15 years) and their parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland completed relevant questionnaires. Results: Oral symptoms, even more profound ones such as toothache, were prevalent among all age groups. Overall, 58% of 12- and 45% of 15-year-olds reported at least one oral impact in the past three months. The most prevalent oral impact was feeling embarrassed to smile or laugh, followed by difficulty eating. These symptoms and oral impacts were disproportionately high among children eligible for free school meals. Furthermore, one fifth to one third of parents reported that their children’s oral conditions had some impact on their family life. Conclusion: Oral symptoms were common and oral conditions had a negative impact on the quality of life of large proportions of children. There were clear and marked socioeconomic inequalities, with considerably worse oral health perceptions and higher levels of oral impacts among the more deprived children.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ravaghi V, Holmes RD, Steele JG, Tsakos G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Dental Journal

Year: 2016

Volume: 221

Issue: 4

Pages: 173-178

Online publication date: 26/08/2016

Acceptance date: 23/06/2016

Date deposited: 28/06/2016

ISSN (print): 0007-0610

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5373

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.600


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