Guidelines for reducing cavities

DentistDentist and patient looking at x-ray. Photo:

National Guidelines for reducing cavities

Some Norwegian children still have a lot of cavities in their teeth. Where in Norway you live is playing a part. For the first time, national guidelines regarding dental care for children are introduced.


The first part of the National Professional Guidelines for Dentistry, aimed at Children and Youngsters aged 0-20, is launched this autumn. It is a follow-up of the guide for adults that has been introduced already.

– We do not want there to be such big differences, says Director General in the Directorate of Health, Per Magne Mikaelsen.

Cavities in the north

Last year’s figures show that in Finnmark only 18 per cent have no cavities. That means that over 80 per cent of the youth has had or have cavities.

The youth in Hedmark have the best dental health. Here, more than 37 per cent of 18-year-olds have never had a cavity. The situation is very good in Møre og Romsdal, Sogn and Fjordane, Akershus and Oslo as well, where over 30 per cent never experienced the dentist’s drill.

The average for Norway shows that 27 per cent of today’s 18-year-olds have never had a filling in their teeth.

The guidelines from the Directorate of Health will ensure that treatment will be the same no matter where in Norway you live.

President of the Norwegian Dental Association, Camilla Hansen Steinum, says that some of the geographical differences can be explained by the fact that it previously was a lack of dentists in Norway.

– Today we have good coverage and the differences are no longer so big, she says.

Social differences

Norwegian 18-year-olds have increasingly good dental records.

– But it can be even better. We see that 10 per cent of the 18-year-olds – in one third of the counties – have lost, had cavities or been exposed to the drill in nine teeth or more. We want the youngsters to reach adulthood with the best possible dental health. The foundation is laid in the early years, says Director General Mikaelsen.

He adds that poor dental health affects individuals or groups more than before. Therefore, the measures are intensified to reach the vulnerable.

The Directorate of Health’s guidelines for dental care for children and youngsters are launched in two stages. The second part, which regards children with health challenges, will be ready next year.

In addition to leveling out geographic differences, the guidelines will make sure that there are no differences made based on social standing and eliminate uncertainty about what one’s rights are.

Facts about dental health among Norwegian 18-year-olds

The county wise list on dental health among Norwegian 18-year-olds shows how many per cent have more than nine cavities and how many per cent have none. The list is compiled by Statistics Norway and sorted by the proportion of youngster with zero cavities.

County Cavities 2015 % 2017 %


None 29 37
>9 7 5

Møre og Romsdal

None 18 32
>9 13 4

Sogn og Fjordane

None 27 32
>9 10 7


None 26 31
>9 6 5


None 27 30
>9 8 6


None 25 29
>9 8 7


None 25 28
>9 6 6


None 26 27
>9 8 6


None 22 27
>9 10 8


None 19 25
>9 11 8


None 20 24
>9 13 10
Aust-Agder None 19 23
>9 10 10


None 19 22
>9 11 10


None 19 22
>9 12 10


None 19 22
>9 11 10


None 20 22
>9 10 9


None 17 21
>9 11 11


None 17 21
>9 12 10


None 11 18
>9 15 11


None 22 27
>9 10 8


 © NTB scanpix / #Norway Today

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