New Delhi: A comprehensive survey on early-childhood dental problems has noted that around 40 per cent of Delhi children suffer from malocclusion (misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches, when they approach each other as the jaw close) due to their of habit of thumbsucking.
The survey, conducted by the Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences, also reveals that around 60 per cent children brush only once a day, instead of twice a day, as advised by dentists. Worse even is the fact that 82 per cent children go for a dental check-up only when there is a problem.
The findings were released at the first biennial conference of the South Asian Association of Pediatric Dentistry (SAAPD).
"For the first time, a survey of such magnitude on evaluating level of awareness on early-childhood dental problems has been done by us. The findings of this survey will give us a direction to map existing level of awareness on dental health among parents and children and help us in intervention," informed Dr Gyanendra Kumar, organising secretary, SAAPD and associate professor, Department of Periodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences.
As many as 1,000 parents of children below 14, who visited the Department in the last two months, were interviewed through a questionnaire.
Talking about what toothpaste a child should use, Dr Kumar said that toothpaste for children should contain fluoride as it prevents development of dental caries, which is very commonly seen in children now days.
The survey also found that although dental diseases can be easily prevented, most parents do not visit a dentist every six months, as is recommended.
"We advise parents to take their children to the dentist every six months," he added.