Shock rise in baby teeth removals
Here’s a kids health story that’s caught our eye, especially with Easter just around the corner (no doubt with more chocolate munching going on than usual!). Some shocking figures have come to light on baby teeth removals showing they’ve risen sharply in a decade, and it’s affecting very little ones aged as young as one and two!
As the BBC reports, hospitals in England are seeing literally THOUSANDS, yes thousands, of very young children every year all of whom need their baby teeth taken out. And health professionals blame sugary diets for the tooth decay problem which they say is largely preventable.
According to The Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, which compiled the data, figures show there were 9,206 extractions carried out on children aged four and younger between April 2015 and March 2016. A decade ago it was closer to 7,400 extractions and that amounts to a rise of about 24% in the space of a decade!
Lead researcher Prof Nigel Hunt is quoted as saying: "When you see the numbers tallied up like this, it becomes abundantly clear that the sweet habits of our children are having a devastating effect on the state of their teeth. That children as young as one or two need to have teeth extracted is shocking. What is really distressing about these figures is that 90% of tooth decay is preventable through reducing sugar consumption, regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste and routine dental visits.”
So, if you’re worried your child will be affected by tooth decay the good news is it’s something parents can help control, largely by cutting down on your child’s sugary food and drink intake and ensuring they visit the dentist regularly (NHS dental treatment is free for under-18s). Parents are also advised to brush their baby’s teeth as soon as they get their first tooth, twice a day morning and night for about two minutes. You only need to use a smear of toothpaste if your child is younger than three but a pea-sized blob thereafter and make sure the toothpaste has lower strength fluoride content.