59 per cent of young adults have untreated cavities

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FIFTY-NINE per cent of young adults have untreated tooth decay, said the Minister of Health.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Adanan Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Hj Mohd Yusof yesterday said the figure was still at “worrying levels” during a symposium on oral health at the Ministry of Health.

“According to data collected from the Integrated Health Screening for public officials from 2007 to 2010, untreated tooth decay for the 18-24 age group is high at 59 per cent,” he said.

Oral health in children has improved however, with five-year-olds on average having three less decayed, missing or filled primary teeth (DMFT) in 2014 compared to reported numbers from 1999. DMFT in 12-year-olds has also dropped from five to one over the same 15-year period.

The drop in DMFT among five-year-olds was from seven to four, while the promotional Toddler Flouride Rolling Toothpaste Programme reported two DMFT in three-year-olds on average.

The minister also urged the public to make full use of the dental services in Brunei, visiting for check-ups at least once a year.

“Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, limiting sugar intake and going for a dental checkup once a year, or as prescribed by a dentist or dental nurse, are the fundamental measures the public need to take to prevent dental problems and maintain good oral health,” he said.

The minister also called on all those involved in the prevention, treatment and promotion of oral health to review and update their strategy based on existing evidence.

Yesterday’s symposium also saw the launch of a question and answer book based on Islamic perspectives in oral health.

The 57-page book, published by the Department of Dental Services, contains three chapters on oral care, dental treatment and dental healthcare while fasting.

The Brunei Times