Better Food Choices Near Schools For Healthier Teeth

A team of researchers at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) in Canada, analysed schools in Greater Montréal to see how oral health was being promoted and it’s correlation with incidence of cavity rates in children.

The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicated the importance of prevention programs. It further showed that the choice of food at school played an important role in the occurrence of cavities in children between 8 and 10.

Usually, food choices within schools are based on obesity prevalence, but rarely in relation to cavities.

The data gathered for the QUALITY study (family study on the prevention of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes in kids and teens) was used to verify children’s oral health.

Food choices in and around schools vary greatly and affect the general health of children.

Over a period of two years, the research team analysed various factors affecting 330 students at 200 schools, including socioeconomic factors, school food environments, and cavity prevention programs. According to their findings, programs promoting healthy eating and good dental hygiene had a positive, but relatively modest, impact compared to children’s food and socioeconomic environments.

Because cavities remain a public health concern, the researchers suggest making this component part of health promotion programs alongside obesity. Policies promoting healthy eating environments could have a greater impact on children’s oral health than school programs run in isolation to encourage kids to take good care of their teeth.