Children’s toothpaste and sugary diets are being blamed for the UK’s Children having rotten teeth. Children now visit the dentist before their first birthday to suffer tooth extraction.
Poor records of children’s oral health earlier this month has prompted Professor Nigel Hunt to encourage parents to have their child visit the dentist and maintain good dental health. However, now the focus is on the cause.
Sugary food and drink are to blame, children are consuming two to three times the recommended limit. However, children’s toothpaste is also in the firing line. With regularly used brands not containing enough fluoride to protect children’s teeth, there is no barrier as a defence against sugar overloads. Hospital extractions for pre-school children have surged 24 per cent in just ten years. Even babies are having newly-grown milk teeth taken out. This is just added figures to the poor oral health records we already see for children.
London specifically holds a dire record for children’s dental health. Nine of the 10 boroughs with the UK’s worst rates for dental care are in the capital. With two-thirds of children aged up to 17 in Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney and Tower Hamlets not having seen a dentist last year.
It’s no secret that children’s dental health is incredibly poor. NHS statistics show that 4 in 10 children haven’t been for regular check ups. Also, tooth decay remains the most common reason young children go to hospital. More than 11,000 London children a year are admitted to hospital for multiple tooth extractions. This is over double the rate since 2010.
A regional breakdown of the figures shows that the North of England has the highest attendance. With 62% of children seeing a dentist there, but in London the figure was just 48%. Figures in 2015 show a 10% rise in the number of children requiring tooth extraction. It can be assumed that number hasn’t fallen much.
Why should your child visit the dentist?
Having your child visit the dentist in their first year will start them off in the right direction. Not only will they be accustomed to the dentist at an early age, making it less likely for them to develop an anxiety regarding dental visits, they will also grow up more aware of their dental health. Assessing your child’s teeth at the youngest possible age will mean the dentist is aware of where your child is starting from.
Professor Nigel Hunt, dean of the Royal College of Surgeons’ faculty of dental surgery, said:
“The number of children in London who did not see a dentist in 2016 is unacceptable. London is behind the rest of Britain for child oral health. As its capital we should be ashamed.”
“There is no doubt that one reason is people’s failure to attend dentists with their children,” he added. “Parents should be taking them to a dentist by the age of one. The biggest problem is the frequency with which children are getting sweets and sugary drinks.”
Dental professionals recommend that children are only allowed to drink water or milk. With bottle feeding ending after the child’s first year.
What are your thoughts on this? We’d love to hear if you ensure your children visit the dentist, or your reasons why you don’t! Let us know in the comments.
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