Cost of Living Crisis: Impact on the Health of Children’s Teeth
13th February 2023

According to new research by the British Dental Association (BDA), a shocking four in five teachers or their schools are now providing pupils with toothpaste and toothbrushes as the cost of living crisis continues to impact the country. The survey also revealed that 40% of those teachers advised that this leads to students being socially excluded in some way by their peers or even isolating themselves.  One third of teachers have witnessed bullying directly.

The BDA worked with hygiene poverty charity Beauty Banks on new research on secondary school teachers across the UK.  The survey also revealed:

  • 25% say children miss school because of poor oral hygiene.
  • Three quarters (74%) said children who don’t have regular access to oral health products have discoloured teeth.
  • Half said children had noticeable tooth decay.
  • 30% noted children in dental pain or suffering from halitosis

Nearly a third (31%) of teachers who witness poverty in the classroom said it affected their mental health. 1 in 4 are kept awake at night worrying about their students’ wellbeing. 38% report feeling helpless.

“This shocking survey underlines that deep health inequalities are set to widen” advised BDA Chair Eddie Crouch. “Yet while our children face an epidemic of decay, the government seems asleep at the wheel.”

In August, BBC research in partnership with the BDA found that 91% of practices in England could not take on new adult NHS patients, with 79% not accepting new child NHS patients.

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