Since 2001, the collaboration between Lower Austria state authorities, the Austrian Health Insurance Fund in Lower Austria, the working group for preventive dental medicine, and the Lower Austrian Dental Association under the “Apollonia Lower Austria” health initiative has been dedicated to enhancing children’s dental health. The recent statistical analysis of the 2022/23 school year illustrates continued progress.
“Apollonia Lower Austria stands out as a distinctive initiative in Austria, significantly advancing the dental well-being of Lower Austrian children. The tangible outcomes include reduced discomfort, diminished dental anxiety, lowered future dental repair expenses, and overall improved health,” highlights Lower Austrian Health Councilor Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig.
Favorable Trends in Children’s Dental Health
Recent data reveals a rise in the number of caries-free children across various age brackets. Among the 46,157 children surveyed, 62.1 percent (+1.4 percent) exhibited no caries. In kindergartens, this figure reached 74.8 percent, while slightly over half were caries-free in elementary schools. “The latest findings are highly encouraging. However, our efforts must persist. Addressing notable regional variances, the substantial proportion (28%) of dentist visit recommendations, and differing parental perceptions regarding the significance of children’s dental health necessitate our focused attention moving forward,” asserts Königsberger-Ludwig, extending gratitude to all contributors for their longstanding dedication.
“Proper teeth brushing is a learned skill! Children equipped with proper dental hygiene knowledge encounter fewer oral issues in adulthood,” stress ÖGK regional office committee chairpersons in Lower Austria, Comm. Council Ing. Norbert Fidler and Robert Leitner. “The sustained enhancement in children’s dental health underscores the dividends of investing in dental health promotion! We eagerly anticipate further fruitful collaborations with our partners – the state of Lower Austria, the working group for preventive dental medicine, and the Lower Austrian Dental Association.”
Chairwoman of AKS-ZAVOMED, MR DDr. Gerda Seiler, expresses particular satisfaction with the continuous and escalating improvement, namely, the declining incidence of caries, signifying an ingrained emphasis on individual dental care and health within the community. “The present dental and oral wellness of our youngest generation serves as the cornerstone for tomorrow’s youth and adult health,” concludes DDr. Seiler.