A study revealed that 8 out of 10 children in India are troubled by oral health problems.
The survey of KANTAR IMRB has revealed shocking revelations about the oral health of Indian children. This survey has also revealed that there is a great difference between the reality of children’s oral health and the perception of parents.
A national study by KANTAR IMRB for Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd has revealed that at least 8 out of 10 children in India suffer from oral health problems, which need attention.
Some of the major oral health problems found in children surveyed include plaque on teeth, white spots on teeth, gingivitis, caries, bad breath, and bleeding gums. Not only this, the survey showed that 2 out of every 3 children have cavities or their risk of having cavities is very high. The study also reported that 9 out of 10 adults surveyed have major oral health problems.
Oral health problems were seen on a large scale among children across the country, which were as follows: Eastern India (89%), West India (88%), North India (85%) and South India (64%).
At the same time, according to another conclusion of the survey, there was a great difference in the perception of the parents about the actual condition of children’s dental health and their oral health status. This apparent difference is actually due to the lack of awareness of parents about the oral health of children.
At least 8 out of 10 parents surveyed admitted that their children’s teeth are healthy, while examining the teeth found that 80% of those children suffer from at least one oral health problem. The difference in the prevalence of children’s current oral health and perceptions of parents is most prominent in Kolkata (92%), followed by Mumbai (88%) and Hyderabad (80%).
The study found that most children in India do not follow the rules adopted for oral health, such as daily brushing and periodically checking teeth etc. More than 70% of the children surveyed do not brush their teeth twice a day and more than 60% of them have not been to any dentist in the last one year.
Apart from this, the survey has reported that 8 out of 10 children who consume sweet products daily are suffering from oral health related problems. About 44% of the children surveyed require major dental treatment such as improvement in teeth, root canal, removal of teeth.
Dr. Meenakshi S. Kher, member of The Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry (ISPPD), says, ‘Most parents do not know that baby milk teeth also need to be taken care of, such teeth in the mouth Right from the time of departure.
These teeth contribute greatly to the overall development of children, they help the child to chew nutritious food and also promote the adequate development of their jaws. It lays the foundation for strong permanent teeth and a healthy smile. Poor care of milk teeth is the main reason for the problems of cavities and oral health in children.
Dr. V. Gopikrishna, President of the Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry (IAPHD), while expressing concern over the findings revealed in the survey, said, ‘This study sheds light on the situation of oral health in the country, which needs immediate awareness .
Several other scientific studies have also revealed that many other health conditions like diabetes, low birth weight of the child and atherosclerosis also have some relation with poor oral health. We should remember that with proper care of dental diseases and good oral health, the teeth remain strong, which can improve the overall health of a person.
The survey was conducted by KANTAR IMRB among 2,030 adults and 1,080 children belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds in 12 cities in India, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Patna etc. The study was conducted at the Colgate Dental Camp organized with two dentists and representatives of the Kentar IMRB in each city.
In every camp, KANTAR IMRB representatives questioned people about their oral health and then a dentist was asked to examine the teeth extensively. Finally, people were also provided with a dental card detailing their oral health.