An examination of more than 1,500 18-year-olds showed those who spend more time on computers (e.g., for internet and computer games) are significantly more likely to neglect their oral health. In England, nearly a half (46%) of 15-year-olds and a third (34%) of 12-year-olds have obvious signs of tooth decay.
Researchers found those who spent longer on a computer were less likely to brush their teeth, floss and visit the dentist. The results are particularly worrying for boys, where twice-daily brushing dropped below 50% for those with excessive computer use.
Further findings discovered that youngsters with excessive computer use are up to 25% more likely to suffer from bleeding gums, and almost twice as likely to be absent from school because of dental pain.
Vital daily brushing routine
Further findings from the study revealed the longer teenagers spend on a computer, the more sugar they consume.
The amount and frequency of fizzy drinks, juices with added sugar and snacking all increased for those with more than three hours of computer time a day. These adolescents were also more likely to skip breakfast and eat less fruit and vegetables.
Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children in the UK and it is caused by having too much sugar. By cutting out snacking and keeping sugar consumption to mealtimes, teeth are able to recover and are far less prone to tooth decay. Replacing sugar with healthier options should also be highly encouraged. Fizzy drinks cause a real risk and should be replaced with milk or water as tooth-friendly alternatives.
Concerned about your teenager’s oral health?
Please contact us as our door is always open to new patients and their children.
Goldsworth Road Dental
96 Goldsworth Road, Woking, Surrey GU21 6LN
T: 01483 495 303
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