Too many kids have tooth decay, finds latest research by Colgate-Palmolive

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Colgate-Palmolive has released new research as part of its second national report into Australia’s cavity issue, in conjunction with the launch of its new formula Maximum Cavity Protection toothpaste. 

The study, which surveyed Australian parents with children aged 6-12, found that 70 per cent of parents and nearly half of their children have suffered from tooth decay, with one in five of these children experiencing symptoms of the disease in the last 12 months.

Dental health is one of the top concerns for Australian parents with children aged 6-12. In fact, more than two in five of parents surveyed said they are worried about the health of their children’s teeth, and more than half admitted they need more support and guidance when it comes to instilling good oral health habits.

The research revealed that 41 per cent of parents surveyed cite brushing their children’s teeth as a parenting pain point, with nearly half of children in the 6-12 age group not brushing their teeth for the recommended two minutes per session and nearly 18 per cent only brushing their teeth once a day. 

Of the 78 per cent of parents who said they face challenges when it comes to brushing their children’s teeth, the need for supervision, the morning rush, and kids wanting to eat after brushing their teeth were cited as the most common barriers to brushing. 

The research also revealed that misconceptions around the cause of tooth decay are prominent among Aussie parents, with 45 per cent assuming overconsumption of sugary food and drinks are the key culprits, and one in five believing that cavities happen to everyone. 

“It’s common for people to think that it is large quantities of sugary foods and drinks that cause cavities, but frequent snacking also contributes to kids developing dental decay,” Dr Susan Cartwright, Scientific Affairs manager, Colgate Oral Care, said.

Another common misconception uncovered through the study includes the notion that tooth decay in children with baby teeth is less of an issue than when they have adult teeth, with one in five parents surveyed believing this. 

“If you have dental decay, you have a disease process in your mouth that needs to be addressed,” Dr Cartwright said. 

“If you have this happening as a young child and habits are not corrected, it is likely to continue into adulthood. Therefore, having decay in baby teeth is something that requires attention.”

Colgate is working towards a cavity free future as they believe that everyone deserves a future they can smile about. 

“It’s up to us as adults to ensure we are setting an example for our kids and teaching them to use the correct amount of toothpaste, brushing for two minutes, and brushing twice a day,” Dr Cartwright said.

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