September 19, 2009

Ukrainians have the worst teeth in Europe

I stumbled on a very interesting fact about Ukraine while I was browsing Dr. Rosling's GAPMINDER web-site. An average Ukrainian 12-yo child had 4.4 bad teeth in 2004. This makes Ukrainian kids have one of the worst smiles in Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina was the only country in Europe where the child dentistry was in much worse shape than it was in Ukraine. An average Bosnian or Herzegovinian 12-yo child had 4.8 bad teeth in 2004. I am not sure why Ukrainians kids have the worst teeth in Europe. Ukraine's dentistry is up to European standards. Dental services are also quite affordable given the current level of income. Tooth paste and dental floss are not the luxury goods either. Could it be that Ukrainians kids just have the sweet tooth? Or should I say the sweetest tooth in Europe? Could it be that their marginal benefits from having a sweet tooth are much higher than their marginal costs from having a bad tooth?


  1. Parents do not ask their children to begin taking care of their teeth until they begin getting their adult teeth. By then, the bad habits of not brushing their teeth, and eating too much sugar have already been established. Furthermore, there is no such thing as preventive dentistry in Ukraine.Ukrainians go to the dentist when it is too late, and as a result their teeth are the worst in Europe.

  2. If you are correct, it means that parents do not care about their kids' health in Ukraine. Or are you saing that Ukrainians have a bad culture of dental care?