A child in England has a tooth removed in hospital every 10 minutes, research from Public Health England (PHE) shows.
Around 141 children every day have their teeth removed, some as young as a year old, which adds up to 60,000 missed days from school.
These stats come about on the day the Government launches its sugar tax, adding an extra 24p per litre on drinks that contain over 5g of sugar per 100ml.
‘It’s upsetting to see so many children admitted to hospital with tooth decay, but swapping out sugary drinks could be an easy win for busy families,’ Dr Sandra White, dental lead for Public Health England, said.
‘Parents can also help prevent decay by making sure their children’s teeth are brushed twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and reducing how much sugar they’re eating and drinking.’
PHE Change4life campaign is reminding parents that sugary drinks are one of the main sources of sugar in children’s diets.
Consuming too much sugar is one of the main reasons for tooth decay found in children, PHE says.
PHE’s Change4Life campaign is encouraging parents to:
- Swap sugary drinks for lower or no sugar alternatives, including water and lower fat milks
- Limit fruit juice and smoothies to a total of 150ml per day and only consume with meals – they count as a maximum of one portion of our five-a-day
- Ensure children brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste (once before bedtime and once during the day) and remind them to ‘spit not rinse’. Brushing should start as soon as the first tooth appears and children should be supervised up to the age of seven.
‘In the face of a tooth decay epidemic the official response remains woefully inadequate,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the British Dental Association’s chair of General Dental Practice, said.
‘While devolved governments have rolled up their sleeves, authorities in England have chosen to rest on their laurels.
‘The result is an oral health gap that shows no signs of closing.
‘To date not a single child has seen any benefit from the Government’s unfunded and unambitious plans to act on decay.
‘These figures underline the need for concerted national action.’
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