The Child Dental Health Survey provides yearly information on the dental health of children attending school dental services in Australia. This report describes and discusses the survey and presents analyses for 2001. The data cover 110,834 children from all states and territories except for New South Wales.
In 2001: Among 12-year-olds
- over 40% had some history of decay in their permanent teeth – that is, one or more decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth
- on average they had just one decayed, missing or filled permanent tooth
- but the 10% with the most extensive history of tooth decay had about five times the national average of decayed, missing or filled teeth.
- nearly one half (47.3%) had a history of decay in the deciduous (‘baby’) teeth
- on average they had two (1.9) decayed, missing or filled deciduous teeth
- but the 10% with the most extensive history of tooth decay had almost nine deciduous teeth affected, which was about five times the national average.
International and social comparisons
- children’s dental health in Australia is better than in many other countries. Of the 41 countries with comparable national data available, Australia had the fifth lowest average number of decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth among 12-year-olds
- however, children from disadvantaged socioeconomic areas in Australia still have poorer dental health than other Australian children. Across all ages, children residing in less affluent areas have more decayed, missing and filled teeth than children residing in the more affluent areas
- the social gradient in children’s dental disease was different in metropolitan areas compared with rural or remote regions of Australia. In rural and remote regions, the average amount of dental decay was elevated in children who lived in all but the most affluent areas. In contrast, in metropolitan cities there was a consistent trend of increasing levels of decay with increasing levels of disadvantage.
Preliminary material: List of tables; List of figures; Abbreviations
Description of survey methods
Description of national findings
Socioeconomic differences in children's dental health
End matters: References