Child Dental Health Survey 2013, England, Wales and Northern Ireland
The 2013 Children's Dental Health (CDH) Survey, commissioned by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, is the fifth in a series of national children's dental health surveys that have been carried out every ten years since 1973.
The 2013 survey provides statistical estimates on the dental health of 5, 8, 12 and 15 year old children in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, using data collected during dental examinations conducted in schools on a random sample of children by NHS dentists and nurses. The survey measures changes in oral health since the last survey in 2003, and provides information on the distribution and severity of oral diseases and conditions in 2013.
The survey oversampled schools with high rates of free school meal eligibility to enable comparison of children from lower income families* (children eligible for free school meals in 2013) with other children of the same age, in terms of their oral health, and related perceptions and behaviours*.
The 2013 survey dental examination was extended so that tooth decay (dental caries) could be measured across a range of detection thresholds. This reflects the way in which the detection and management of tooth decay has evolved towards more preventive approaches to care, rather than just providing treatment for disease. This survey provides estimates for dental decay across the continuum of caries, including both restorative and preventive care needs*.
Complementary information on the children's experiences, perceptions and behaviours relevant to their oral health was collected from parents and 12 and 15 year old children using self-completion questionnaires. The self-completion questionnaire for older children was introduced for the 2013 survey.
*In 2013 when this survey took place, a free school meal was a statutory benefit available only to school aged children from families who received other qualifying benefits (such as Income Support).
*Differences in clinical outcomes between socio-economic groups are likely to reflect different attitudes, behaviours and experiences relevant to oral health that may also be mediated through other demographic characteristics such as ethnicity and country of birth
*Estimates from the four detection thresholds measured in the 2013 survey are available in Report 2.