A national study by KANTAR IMRB for Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd has reported that at least 8 out of 10 children in India having issues with oral health problems, which need serious attention.
Some of the significant 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 stated that 9 out of 10 grown-ups 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 outcome of the survey, there was a massive difference in the perception of the parents about the actual condition of children's dental health and their oral health status. This visible difference is actually due to the lack of awareness of parents about the oral health of children.
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At least 8 out of 10 parents surveyed confirmed 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 notable in Kolkata (92%), followed by Mumbai (88%) and Hyderabad (80%).
The study found that most children in India do not follow the basic rules for oral health, such as daily brushing and regularly checking teeth, etc. More than 70% of the children surveyed do not brush their teeth two times a day, and more than 60% of them have not been to any dentist in the last one year.
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 need primary dental treatment such as improvement in teeth, root canal, removal of teeth.
Dr. Meenakshi S Kher, a member of (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 significantly to the overall development of children. They help the child to chew nutritious food and also promote the adequate development of their jaws. It sets the foundation for strong permanent teeth and a healthy smile. Inadequate care of milk teeth is the main reason for the problems of cavities and oral health in children.
Dr. V. Gopikrishna, President of the (IAPHD), while expressing concern over the findings disclosed in the survey, said, 'This study sheds light on the situation of oral health in the country, which needs immediate awareness.
Various scientific studies have also unveiled that many other health conditions like diabetes, low birth weight of child, and atherosclerosis have some connection with poor oral health. We should remember that with proper care of dental diseases and good oral hygiene, the teeth remain healthy, which can improve the overall health of a person.
KANTAR IMRB surveyed 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 KANTAR 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.
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