Are children in England being failed by NHS Dentistry?
It’s no secret that children love sugar. If you offer them a chocolate bar vs some healthy carrot sticks, we all know what they’re going to choose. But a rise in sugar and a drop in the number of NHS dentists is landing English children in hospital and we need an intervention.
Tooth Decay in Children
The NHS is having to spend millions of pounds a year on hospital operations to remove children’s teeth due to a surge in tooth decay in under 18s. Tooth decay continues to be the main reason why under 18’s in the UK are admitted to hospital above broken limbs, epilepsy and appendicitis.
Almost 170 operations on British children and teenagers take place every day at. This has an annual cost of about £36.2 million, new statistics have shown. Children and teenagers were admitted for surgery 42,911 times in 2016-17, a 17 per cent rise since 2014.
Tooth extraction will be carried out in a hospital rather than at a dentist when the seriousness of tooth decay means the patient requires general anaesthetic. Tooth decay is easily preventable but is constantly using up NHS resources and time which could be better used elsewhere.
‘Second Class’ Dental Care for English Children
The problem is most prevalent in England. The chairman of the British Dental Association stated that English children are receiving a ‘second-class’ service in comparison to children in Scotland and Wales. In Scotland and Wales, there are dedicated programmes such as Child Smile which aims to promote positive dental care routines and habits to children as young as 3 years old.
Good habits start at home
Parents can reduce tooth decay through cutting back on their children’s sugar intake through food and drink. Parents need to be encouraging their children to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and organising for their child to visit the dentist, until the child is old enough to do it on their own.
Children’s poor dental health can limit their ability to eat, play, socialise and speak normally. Not to mention that it will likely affect their dental health as an adult. Poor oral care from a young age will cause need for more appointments as an adult.
Find dental care for english children
If you need to register your child with a dentist, we can help you. Head over to our website, www.defactodentists.com and search your location to get started. From the menu on the left, select ‘child friendly’ to narrow your search. Then browse the options on offer to you. Click through the practices and get to know the practice teams. Read reviews from other patients, then pick the practice that suits you and your child’s needs.
Proper dental care at a young age will ensure good dental care through adulthood. Give your child the best start by finding them a fantastic dentist.