SEJONG, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) – The South Korean government announced yesterday plans to reduce dental cavities among children by up to 20 percent amid growing concerns over figures pointing to the high risk of dental problems facing the country.
According to a policy blueprint concerning the dental health of South Koreans from 2017 to 2021 published by the Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday, the government plans to reduce the experience rate of dental cavities among children aged below 12 to 45 percent from the current figure of 54.6 percent.
Despite moderate improvements in recent years that saw the average number of cavities found in South Korean children drop to 1.9 in 2015 from 3.3 in 2000, the figure is still higher than countries like the Netherlands and Germany, whose 2013 figures stood at 0.6 and 0.7 respectively.
Along with measures to protect children from dental cavities, the government is also poised to increase the number of public oral health centers, a shift in approach to dental health from treatment to prevention.
The government’s new dental health plan is set to raise both the rates of dental inspection and scaling from 30.9 percent and 16.6 percent to 38.6 percent and 20.8 percent, while increasing access to dental care for the socially marginalized as the issue of poor oral health has been found to correlate with the income gap in South Korea.
Ashley Song (email@example.com)