THE state of children’s teeth in the Barwon South-West has received a troubling report card.
According to a state government report, the highest rates for fillings were in the Barwon South-West region at 43.6 per cent and the highest rates for tooth extractions were also in the Barwon South-West.
However one expert said the figures were skewed because Geelong had only recently introduced fluoridation.
The Barwon South-West region takes in Greater Geelong, Warrnambool, Surf Coast, Colac-Otway, Corangamite, Moyne, Queenscliffe, Southern Grampians and Glenelg local government areas.
Warrnambool dentist Tony Davies welcomed data which said that Barwon South-West children were among the lowest rates in the state of children needing hospitalisation for dental decay.
Within rural Victoria, rates for hospitalisation were lowest at age 0-4 years in Barwon South-West region.
Mr Davies said that high rates of fillings and extraction indicated high levels of disease. He said it may mean that more parent awareness was needed in terms of what causes decay and the appropriate diet.