The national diet and nutrition survey of 1.5 to 4.5 year old children: summary of the findings of the dental survey

Br Dent J. 1996 Nov 9;181(9):328-32. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4809251.


A dental health survey was included as part of a large scale study of nutrition in preschool children. The survey was carried out in 1992/93 and was published in spring 1995. Information on dental health status and on dietary intake was gathered from a total of 1658 children from 100 geographical sectors in the United Kingdom. This article summarises the main findings and highlights some of the most important findings regarding dental health and its relationship to dietary factors. Seventeen per cent of children had some caries experience and in 83% of cases this was untreated. Dental decay was most strongly related to social background. The factors most strongly related to caries prevalence were: receipt of income benefits, in the 1.5-2.5-year-old children; the educational status of the mother in the 2.5-3.5-year-old children and social class of the head of household in the 3.5-4.5-year-old children. Consumption of sugary drinks at bedtime, children being left to brush their teeth themselves, household expenditure on confectionery and geographical region were also strongly associated with caries prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Beverages / adverse effects
  • Bottle Feeding / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Dental Caries / epidemiology*
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Dental Health Surveys
  • Diet Surveys*
  • Diet, Cariogenic*
  • Dietary Sucrose / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Prevalence
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Class
  • Tooth Erosion / epidemiology
  • Tooth Injuries / epidemiology
  • Toothbrushing / statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • Dietary Sucrose