The West

Thousands of schoolchildren will have their teeth examined over the next six months during a once-in-a-generation study of the nation's child dental health.

In WA, 4500 children aged five to 14 from 141 public and private schools will be checked.

Parents will also be quizzed about their children's diet, including how much soft drink they have.

The details will help form a snapshot of the dental health of about 30,000 young Australians.

The checks are being carried out by WA Dental Health Staff at dental therapy clinics near the child's school or at schools using portable dental equipment.

Dental Services general manager Sam Carrello urged parents to give their consent if their child was asked to take part.

"This is an opportunity for West Australians to take an active part in determining the current dental health of their children," he said

Mr Carrello said the results of the check-ups would be confidential but parents would be given general information about their child's oral health.

Dental inspections have finished in the North West. Children in Perth and some country locations will be checked next before the study, which is run by The Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health at the University of Adelaide, moves to the South West next year.

Jayden Chin, 10, from Wesley College, had his check at the Mt Henry Dental Clinic on Monday.

His mother Michelle said it would be interesting to find out how much oral health had improved.

The West Australian

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